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■? t. y 




The Modern World 




F«lkm of KiM'i Goll«#«. GMUwidgt. aad 
Late Uahranhy LMtorar la Hfalorr 


Volume II 

London, New York, Toronto and Melbourne 







I. The Making of Italy 

2. The Civil War in America 

3. Germany : The Man of Blood and Iron 

4. The Hegemony of Prussia 

5. Gladstone and His First Ministry . 

6. France : Decay of the Second Empire 

7. The Beginning of the End 

8. Sedan 

9. The War with the Republic 

ID. The Commune 





I. Gladstone's Ministry, 1868-74 251 

2. Russia and the East 


3. The Russo-Turkish War 281 

4. The Congress of Berlin . 


5. Disraeli's Ministry, 1874-80 307 



6. The Zulu War 322 

7. The Pacification of Afghanistan .... 338 

8. The Tragedy of Khartum 349 

9. Independence of the Transvaal .... 365 

10. Home Rule 372 

11. Old China and New Japan 392 

12. Federation of Australia 407 

13. Reconquest of the Sudan 420 

14. The Spanish-American War of 1898 . . . 433 

15. The Boxers in China 441 

16. The Boer War 447 

17. The Russo-Japanese War 472 

18. Edward the Peacemaker 488 





On the night of the disastrous defeat at Novara, Friday, March inocMwimi «r 
23rd, 1849, Charles Albert resigned his crown in favour of his Yi«*« ■■- 
son, Victor Emmanuel II., then twenty-nine years old. He "•■"•* ^* 
was known as the Re Galant'uomo — " King Honest Man " — from 
the uprightness of his character and the fact that he sturdily 
refused to recall or impair the Constitution which had once been 
given to his country. On the following day he held a conference 
with Radetzky, the conqueror, and, on March 25th, accepted the 
onerous conditions of the armistice. The Piedmontese agreed to 
retire from the area bounded by the Po, the Sesia, and the Ticino, 
to allow the fortress of Alessandria to be occupied by a mixed 
garrison of Austrians and Piedmontese till the conclusion of peace, 
to evacuate the Duchies immediately, to recall the fleet from the 
Adriatic, to disband the Lombard volunteers, and to pay the 
expenses of the war. Next night the King returned to Turin, 
accepted the resignation of the Ratazzi Ministry, and established 
de Launay in his place. 

On March 29th Victor Emmanuel swore fidelity to the Consti- 
tution in the presence of the two Chambers. He was coldly 
received, as the armistice was unpopular. Indeed, the Chambers 
declared it to be imconstitutional, and a revolt at Genoa, imder 
the influence of Mazzini, was put down by La Marmora. Austria 
demanded a war indemnity of nearly ^^10,000,000, and, since it 
was impossible to pay this, the country had to submit to the 
indignity of a part occupation of Alessandria. However, by the 
mediation of France and Great Britain, Alessandria was evacuated, 
the indemnity was reduced to £3,000,000, and peace was signed 
on August 6th, 1849, ^y which time Massimo d'Azeglio had become 


The LeggI 


Prime Minister. The King had great difficulty in inducing the 
Chamber to approve of this treaty. It met on July 30th, 1849, 
with a determination not to ratify the treaty or to recognise its 
terms, and, on November nth, passed a resolution to suspend 
its operation. There was nothing to do but to dissolve the House, 
and the new Parliament accepted the treaty by a very large 
majority on January 19th, 1850. 

D'AzegUo, being anxious to abolish the exclusive privileges of 
the Ecclesiastical Courts, appointed Siccardi to the office cor- 
responding to the British Lord Chancellorship, having first sent 
him as ambassador to Pius IX., to endeavour to induce the Pope 
to accept his views. Siccardi introduced a Bill for the abolition 
of the Ecclesiastical Courts and their special jurisdiction. He 
also attempted to abolish mortmain, or the holding of land by 
corporations without the consent of the Government, and to 
r^^ulate marriage as a civil contract. These measures were 
embodied in three laws known as the Leggi Siccardiani, which were 
carried by both Chambers, their acceptance by the Senate, which 
was supposed to be Conservative, causing great astonishment. 

These laws were warmly supported by Cavour in one of the 
best speeches he ever made^-one, in fact, which was the turning-* 
point in his career. He supported them on the broad ground that» 
the Constitution having been granted to the country by Charles 
Albert, with the view of establishing liberal institutions, it was the 
duty of a wise Ministry to carry out these principles by l^islation 
in tiiie same direction, and, the quieter and more peaceful the con* 
dition of the country, the more seasonable was the time for doing 
so. He enforced hi^ arguments by the examples of the Duke of 
Wellington consenting to the emancipation of the Catholics, 
Lord Grey carrying the Reform Bill, and Sir Robert Peel 
avowing his conversion to the principles of Free Trade. He con- 
cluded with these words : " See, gentlemen, how reforms, made in 
time, strengthen authority instead of weakening it, and, instead 
of increasing the strength of the revolutionary spirit, reduce it to 
impotence. Imitate boldly the spirit of the Duke of Wellington, 
Lord Grey and Sir Robert Peel, whom history will declare to be 
the first statesmen of our time. Go forward generously in the 
path of reform ; do not be afraid if measures are declared 
inopportime; do not be afraid to weaken the power of the 
Constitutional Throne, which is entrusted to your hands, because 
you will really strengthen it. You will really place the Throne on 
such a secure basis that, when the storm of revolution bursts 
against it, it will not only be able to resist it, but, by summon- 


ing around it the living forces of Italy, will be able to lead our 
nation to the high destinies to which it is summoned." 

Up to that moment Cavour had been regarded as an aristo- CaTour^i 
cratic Tory, but he now received the applause of the Chambers, ^P'***'**^' 
the Ministry, and the people. He had hitherto been the leader 
of the Right Centre ; he now put himself at the head of all the 
intelligent Liberals in the Lower House. The Siccardi Laws, 
however, were not put into effect without opposition. Franzoni, 
Archbishop of Turin, refusing to obey them, was condemned to a 
month's imprisonment and a fine, and the Bishops of Sassari and 
Cagliari in Sardinia were similarly punished. 

The quarrel was further embittered by the case of Santa l>eathof 
Rosa, Minister of Agriculture. Feeling that he was near death, ••■*»■••*• 
he asked a Servite brother, named Paravino, to perform for him 
the last offices of religion, but Franzoni refused to allow it unless 
he withdrew his adhesion to the Siccardi Laws. This he refused 
to do, and he died on August 5th without having received the 
sacraments. There was some difficulty in securing for him a 
religious funeral, and popular feeling was so much excited that 
the Servites were suspended and their property confiscated. The 
archbishop was imprisoned in the fortress of Fenestrelle, and 
eventually exiled. The portfoUo left vacant by the death of Santa 
Rosa was given to Cavoiu*, who became Minister of Agriculture 
and Marine on October nth, 1850. 

When the proposal to appoint him was made to Victor CaYooF*! 
Emmanuel, he said, " Take care what you are doing. Cavour ^^^'••■•^ 
will soon dominate you all, and will be himself Prime Minister." 
He began by demanding that MameU, who was a weak Minister 
of Education, should be replaced by someone more vigorous. He 
took a step in the direction of Free Trade by sending a circular 
to the s}mdics, advising them to abolish the limit of the price of 
bread, and made a commercial treaty with Belgium and, a month 
later, a similar treaty with Great Britain, which compelled the 
Protectionists in his own country to consent to a reciprocity of 
duties. On April 19th, 1851, he accepted the portfolio of Finance, 
which was vacant by the resignation of Nigra. He executed a 
commercial convention with France, which led to a commercial 
treaty in the following year. A commercial treaty with Austria, 
signed in October, 1851, seciured the free navigation of the Po and 
the Ticino, and the junction of the railways uniting Genoa, Turin 
and Milan. 

On December 2nd, 1851, came the c(mp d'itat of Louis 
Napoleon. This alarmed the Liberals, and strengthened the 


revolutionary forces in Europe. But Cavour and d'Azeglio 
remembered his past career, and knew that Italy had nothing 
to fear from a man who had played so large a part in 
Liberal conspiracies. Therefore some French refugees, who were 
opposed to the coi4J> in France, were expelled from Piedmont, 
and a Bill was introduced to control the extravagances of the 
Press. But a difference b^an to arise between d'Az^Uo and 
his Ministers, Cavour thinking that the Government ought to 
assume a more definitely Liberal character and attitude, and that 
this could only be done by a coaUtion with the Left Centre, then 
led by Ratazzi. This coalition, finally concluded, was announced 
in a debate on the Press on February 5th, 1852, in which Cavour 
not only accepted the partnership of the Liberal Ratazzi, but 
refused that of the Conservative benches, thus bringing about 
the divorzio and connubio, the divorce and marriage which are so 
famous in Italian constitutional history. Ratazzi became first 
Vice-President and then President of the Coimcil. 
BtrifBatioB Cavour had undoubtedly committed a serious breach of 
of d'lMgUa. discipline in forming this coalition without the knowledge and 

approval of d'AzegUo ; his only excuse was that, if he hsud con- 
sulted his chief, permission to make it would not have been 
given. So Cavour resigned his two posts, and the Ministry was 
reconstructed with the omission of Cavour and Farini. The new 
Ministry met the Chambers on May 21st, 1852, but it was soon 
apparent that Cavour had seen the position of affairs with true 
insight. A BiU authorising civil marriage was introduced and 
passed the Chamber, but was rejected by the Senate by a single 
vote. The Pope was very angry at it, and d'Azeglio found 
himself in troubled waters. Antonelli published a paper, and the 
Pope wrote to the King, who said that he would not have 
consented to the law had he known that it would displease the 
Pope, and that he was ready to make every sacrifice for his 
country except that of his conscience. Accordingly d'Azeglio 
resigned and advised the King to send for Cavour. 
Oatou^i Victor Emmanuel was reluctant to appoint a Minister who 

!^JU*** „ would be distasteful to the Papal Court, and Cavour himself 
^""*'^* suggested Balbo as an alternative. But these suggested arrange- 
ments proved impossible, and, on November 4th, 1852, Cavour 
formed, without conditions, what has ever since been known as 
" The Great Ministry." This coalition, or connubio, as it was 
called, formed a solid body made up of the CathoUcs of the 
Right and the Democrats of the Left. It was strong enough 
to support in the coimtry the expedition to the Crimea, the 


participation in the Congress of Paris, the interview of Plom- 
bi^res, and the war of 1859. 

In the Ministry Dabormida took the portfolio of Foreign ptadmont't 
Affairs, Buoncompagni of Justice, Citrario of Education, La CamaMndal 
Marmora of War. Ratazzi, leader of the Left, remained President ''•^•»**f • 
of the Council, and in 1853 became Minister of Justice in place of 
Buoncompagni. Cavour was above everything a financier, and 
knew that financial prosperity must be the foundation of a 
coimtry's greatness. At the same time, he did not hesitate to 
sacrifice present interest to future advantage, to contract large 
loans, and to impose heavy taxation to pay the interest. He 
spent much money in developing railwa)^, especially that from 
Turin to Genoa. " Genoa," he said, " will now have no time to 
think of revolutions." He established lines of mail steamers to 
cross the Atlantic, and took the first steps towards the piercing 
of the Mont C^nis. He made commercial treaties, revised the 
customs tariff, with a view to the introduction of Free Trade ; 
cheapened the necessaries of life and the raw materials of industry ; 
established companies, corporate societies, a system of credit for 
agricultural operations, banks of deposit, and banks of discoimt. 

The first year of his Ministry was a miracle of administrative 
achievement. He created a new Piedmont, as Peter the Great 
created a new Russia and Napoleon a new France ; and the new 
Piedmont was eventually to create a new Italy. In all this he 
had to consider the bitter hostility of Austria. He made his 
country respected and formidable, reorganised the navy, and 
fortified Alessandria and Casale. 

It was only natural that this bold and original policy should Glerioal 
be opposed by the timid folk who form the bulk of every com- Oppoiltton 
munity. They felt the sacrifices which they were compelled to '**'* 

make, but did not realise their import. The priests and the 
demagogues were against Cavour. He was held responsible for bad 
harvests and for the failure of the vintage, and in February, 1853, 
his palace was attacked and his life threatened. At length he 
appealed to the country, and the new Chamber, which met on 
December 19th, 1853, gave him a decided majority in support 
of his policy. 

Then followed a stroke of genius by the participation in the Catow 
Crimean War. The negotiations which preceded it are obscure, *^ 
but the main lines of the policy are clear at the present day. By ** 
taking this bold and decided step Piedmont offered a vigorous 
contrast to the feeble waverings of her rival, Austria, and took 
her place among the Powers of Europe, who were joining together 



of OteiMl 


to perform what was supposed to be an act of international justice, 
although it was really a great iniquity. She earned the gratitude 
of France, which might repay her services some day by the 
exchange of Milan and Lombardy for Savoy, and obtained the 
right of taking part in the congress which must follow the war. 
It is probable, as we have seen, that the Emperor Napoleon 
originally began the war with the object of weakening Russia, so 
as to prevent her from supporting Austria in the war which he 
intended to undertake for the Uberation of Italy. In that case 
the step now taken was important both for Cavour and the 
country he desired to serve. Eventually the alliance between 
France and Great Britain was joined by Piedmont on January 
25th, 1855, and on April 21st 15,000 Sardinian troops, as they 
were called, commanded by Alphonso La Marmora, sailed from 
Genoa to the Crimea. 

On January 12th, 1855, ^^^ King lost his mother ; on January 
20th his wife ; and on February loth his brother, the Duke of 
Genoa. Victor Emmanuel saw in this the finger of God, and 
was reluctant to pursue the course of ecclesiastical reform which 
was being advocated by his Ministers. At this time Piedmont, 
with a population of under 5,000,000, possessed seventy-one 
religious orders and 604 religious communities, while the 
capitalised value of the ecclesiastical property in the whole 
kingdom, including Sardinia, was estimated at over seventeen 
millions of English money. It was a pressing necessity to reduce 
the number of religious orders and to forbid the creation of any 
fresh ones except by legislation. This step was violently opposed 
by the Clericals, and was distasteful to the King himself ; but the 
Bill eventually became law on May 29th, Cavour making a con- 
cession by excluding from its operation an order which had been 
specially protected by the King's mother and his brother. The 
Bill suppressed thirty-four religious orders and 334 religious houses, 
leaving twenty-two corporations, with 274 houses. On July 22nd 
Pius IX. excommunicated all those who had promoted, approved 
of, or sanctioned the law. Cavoiu*, warned by the example of 
Santa Rosa, had made arrangements with a priest to attend him 
in his last moments, and this was eventually carried out. 

The expedition to the Crimea consisted of 17,767 men, 4,464 
horses, and 36 guns. It disembarked at Balaklava on May 8th, 
and had orders to act mainly with the British. It suffered much 
from sickness, especially from cholera ; but, on August i6th, the 
success of the Battle of the Tcheroaia compensated for every- 
thing. It was not a great victory, but it attracted attention and 



irradiated the Italian tricolour with a gleam of glory. Indeed, the 
whole expedition did not bring much military glory, since, while 
1,200 men died of cholera in hospital, only forty died on the field 
of battle. 

The visits paid by Victor Emmanuel to the Courts of Paris Ob^mi 
and St. James's, accompanied by Cavour and d'Az^Uo, were ^^^L. 
first suggested by Cavour, and were a great success. Queen g,y,|ff^nnti- 
Victoria wrote of the King that "he is startling in the extreme in 
appearance and manner, when you first see him, but when you 
know him well you cannot help loving him. He is frank, open, 
just, straightforward, Uberal, and tolerant, with much sound 
good sense. He never breaks his word, and you can rely on him ; 
but wild and extravagant, courting adventure and danger, with 
a very strange, short, rough manner. He is more like a knight 
of the Middle Ages than anything one knows nowadays." Cavour 
was at first afraid to accompany the King for fear it might give 
the visit too poUtical a character, but yielded on condition that 
Massimo d'Azeglio should go as aide-de-camp, to show to Europe 
that Piedmont was not infected by the disease of revolution. 

As they returned through Paris the Emperor proclaimed his Cavow and 
interest in the Italian cause by suddenly crying to Cavour, " What *•?•'••■• 
can we do ior Italy ? " He probably said more to the King than 
he did to the Minister. It is recorded that, on his return to Italy, 
Victor Emmanuel praised Napoleon to a friend, and said, " You 
might hear great things if I could speak : enough, either King of 
Italy or simply head of Savoy." Cavour drew up a memorial 
for the Emperor, dated January 21st, 1856, which said, " The 
Emperor can render immense service to Italy, first, by persuad- 
ing Austria to do justice to Piedmont ; secondly, by obtaining 
a milder government for Lombardy and Verona; thirdly, by 
forcing the King of Naples not to continue to scandahse Europe 
by conduct contrary to all principles of justice and equity ; and, 
fourthly, by removing the Austrian governors from the L^ations 
and Romagna, and giving them a better, that is, a lay, govern- 
ment." He concluded with the words, '* Whatever Fate or 
Providence reserves for Italy, every man of heart will always 
remember that Napoleon was the first to ask, ' What can we do 
for Italy?'" 

The Congress of Paris met at the end of February, 1856. It Ca¥oiir at 
was not certain whether the representative of Sardinia could be ^^VSSf*** 
admitted to the congress at all, or be admitted only on a lower 
footing, and Cavour attended it with great reluctance, foresee- 
ing only disaster. However, by the influence of the Emperor, 


supported by Great Britain, he was able to take part in it on 
the same footing as the others. He behaved with wisdom and 
moderation, speaking little and always on the Liberal side. In 
this way he gradually won influence. Eventually, on April 8th, 
he was able to bring the question of Italy before the attention of 
the diplomats in a manner which has been related in a previous 
chapter. Cavour was disappointed with the result of the congress, 
but on his return to Turin received not only the applause of the 
King and Parliament, but also congratulations from the whole of 
Italy. His position had gained immensely in influence and 
strength, both at home and abroad. 
lulriA*s Austria relaxed her severity in Lombardy and Venetia, and 

RiJ^** removed the edict sequestrating the property of the emigrants. 
The Emperor Francis Joseph visited the provinces in January. 
1857, accompanied by the Empress Elizabeth, who won all hearts, 
and sent his brother, the admirable Maximilian, to govern it, who 
was so successful that Cavour was afraid the hoped-for Uberation 
of the territory might not be realised. 
^•^y*^ •^ At the same time, in Cavour's own government, Mazzini stirred 
^^'"™™'* up a useless and motiveless rebellion in Genoa in Jime, 1857, ^md 
in the general election in November, the first that had taken 
place since the l^islation affecting the Church, the Clerical party 
obtained seventy seats out of a total of 200. Cavour was alarmed. 
" What," he said, " if eight years' labour were thrown away and 
the movement of the State turned backward ? " Never would 
he advise a coup d'itat, nor would his master consent to one ; but, 
if the King abdicated, what then ? Victor Emmanuel said to 
Cavour, " Let us do our duty, stand firm, and we shall see." The 
crisis was surmoimted. Some elections in which the priests had 
exercised undue influence were declared null, and Ratazzi, who 
was a red rag to the Clericals, retired from office. Cavour foimd 
himself master of the Chamber. 
Ofitai*i Ratazzi retired from the Ministry on January 15th, 1858 ; but 

Ittompt on ^g night before a terrible event had taken place at Paris. As 
the Emperor and Empress were driving to the theatre, bombs 
were thrown at the carriage by Felix Orsini ; they wounded 
150 persons and killed eight. The Emperor's carriage was 
struck by 76 projectiles, one of the horses was killed, the other 
wounded. The Emperor and Empress escaped by a miracle, 
as the general who sat opposite them was wounded. Antonio 
Fieri, teacher of languages, was seized immediately, with a laige 
bomb in his pocket. Other persons arrested were Gomez, a 
Neapolitan servant, young Count Rudio of Belluno, and Orsini, who 



was wounded in the head. The bombs, invented by Orsini, had 
been made by Bernard, a Frenchman, and filled by Orsini ; one 
was thrown by Gomez, a second by Rudio, a third by Orsini. 

Orsini wrote a letter from his prison to the Emperor, saying oniiii*t 
that on his will depended the happiness or misery of Italy, the Pita- 
life or death of a nation to which Europe owed a great part of its 
civilisation. " I conjure your Majesty to restore to Italy the 
independence which its sons lost in 1849 ^y ^^ ^^^^ ^^ ^^ 
French. Remember that the Italians, amongst whom was my 
father, gave, with joy, their lives for Napoleon the Great, when- 
ever he might please to lead them ; remember that they were 
faithful to him to his fall; remember that the tranquillity of 
Europe and your own is a dream so long as Italy is not indepen- 
dent. Do not reject these last words of a patriot who is already 
on the steps of the scaffold ; hberate my country, and the blessings 
of 25,000,000 people will follow you to posterity." There can 
be no doubt that the crime of Orsini stimulated the action of 
Napoleon with regard to the liberation of Italy. 

It might have been thought that the deed would have alienated Cav«w 
the Emperor and put an end to all hope of achieving the liberty JJjf****^' 
of Italy by the help of France. But this was averted by the Hi^poi^^n. 
diplomatic skill of Cavour and the manly straightforwardness of 
the King ; and in May, 1858, Cavour received from Paris a letter 
written by a friend who was intimate with Prince Napoleon, 
which {MToposed an aUiance between France and Italy, and 
suggested the marriage of Prince Napoleon to the Princess 
Clothilde. After this, Cavour sent Nigra to Paris, and the 
diplomatist reported that the Emperor reaUy had ideas of 
this kind in his head. In June M. Conneau, an intimate friend 
of Napoleon's, came to Turin to invite Cavour to visit the Emperor 
at Plombi&res, where he was taking the waters. This was com- 
municated to the King and La Marmora alone. Cavour arrived 
at Plombidres on June 20th, and saw the Emperor on that and 
the following day. 

An account of what passed is contained in a letter from Cavour 
to the King, although it is believed that a more accurate narrative 
exists in a minute which has not seen the light. The Emperor 
began by saying that he had made up his mind to support Sardinia 
in a war with Austria, if a cause cotdd be found which would 
satisfy the public opinion of Europe. He suggested that some- 
thing might be made of the revolutionary movements in Massa 
and Carrara. As to the future of Italy, the Austrians were to be 
driven from the country entirely, not a foot of ground being left 



Called in. 

to them. The north of Italy was to be formed into a kingdom of 
Alta Italia, under the House of Savoy ; the Pope was to keep 
Rome and its environs ; Naples was to be left as it was ; and a 
kingdom of Central Italy was to be created. These four States 
were to form a confederacy under the presidency of the Pope. The 
Emperor said that he would like a Murat to reign at Naples, and 
Cavour proposed the Duchess of Parma for Tuscany. Napoleon 
then touched upon the cession of Savoy and Nice. Cavour made 
no difficulty about Savoy, but said that Nice was thoroughly 
Italian ; but the Emperor remarked that this was a secondary 
consideration. The conversation lasted from eleven to three. 

In the afternoon the Emperor took Cavour for a drive, himself 
holding the reins. He then suggested a marriage between Prince 
Napoleon and Princess Clothilde, but did not make it an absolute 
condition. At the same time, Cavour was convinced that the 
Emperor desired that Prince Napoleon should be sovereign of 
Central Italy. 

It now remained to find a decent pretext for the war with 
Austria. Odo Russell has reported that Cavour said to him on 
this occasion, '' I will compel Austria to declare war," and there 
is no doubt that the Minister brought the whole force of his mind 
to bring this about. He conceived the idea of sending Garibaldi 
to the Duchies to promote an insurrection which would force 
Austria to action. He considered whether something might not 
be made out of the capture of Cagliari, which was causing much 
excitement, but a more hopeful project was to be found in the 
Duchies of Massa and Carrara, which belonged to the Duke of 
Modena. Napoleon twice requested Austria to assist in uiging 
the Pope to give a better government to his dominions, but she 
twice refused. Cavour, as we have seen, was much troubled by 
the success of the government of Maximilian at Milan, which led 
the Milanese to feel that they would be content to have him as 
an independent King or a Viceroy. If this spirit spread there 
would be an end to all his plaxis. 

In October, 1858, Cavour had a long conference with La Farina 
to concert a plan for exciting a revolution in the spring of 1859 
in Central Italy, Parma and Bologna, and if possible to force 
the Austrians to war. Massa and Carrara should begin ; Garibaldi 
should go to Parma ; a squadron should be sent to Leghorn, which 
would certainly drive away the Grand Duke of Tuscany. In 
December Garibaldi came from Caprera to Turin to confer with 
La Farina and Cavour. 

These diplomatic movements were kept a secret tiU they were 



revealed by the conduct of the Emperor Napoleon to the Austrian 
Ambassador on January ist, 1859, which came like a thunder- 
clap upon Europe. As he passed before Baron Hiibner on that 
day he said, in the hearing of all the diplomatic body, " I regret 
the relations between us are bad ; but, nevertheless, tell your 
Sovereign that my sentiments towards him are not changed." 
When, ten days afterwards, Victor Emmanuel opened the session 
of Parliament, he said : " The horizon in which the new year opens 
is not altogether serene. Strong in the experience of the past, 
we meet with resolution the eventualities of the future. This 
future will be happy if we rest our poUcy on justice, on love of 
hberty and of our country. Our country, small in territory, has 
acquired credit in the counsels of Europe, by the ideas which it 
represents and the sympathy which it inspires. This condition 
is not exempt from danger, but at the same time, whilst we respect 
treaties, we are not insensible to the cry of pain which rises towards 
us from every part of Italy." 

While these war cries were resoimding. Great Britain and 
Austria were doing all they could to preserve peace. In Great 
Britain a Tory Government was in office, which was not so much 
in favour of Italy as a Liberal Ministry would have been. But 
Austria sent troops into Italy and Cavour recalled the Govern- 
ment from Sardinia to the capital 

On January i6th Prince Napoleon came to Turin to claim ManUia of 
the hand of Princess Clothilde, and discuss the details of the Prince 
alliance with Cavour. On January i8th the treaty was signed ^J?***** 
which bound Napoleon to assist Piedmont in case of an aggressive prmoaH 
act on the part of Austria. If the war were successful an Italian Clothilda, 
kingdom was to be formed, consisting of 10,000,000 or 12,000,000 
inhabitants, and Savoy was to be ceded to France, the question 
of Nice being left for future arrangements. It was also agreed 
that in case of war the Sardinian troops should abandon the 
territory between the Ticino and the Serio and concentrate in the 
defence of Alessandria and Casale, in order to protect the capital 
and assist the junction of the French forces which were to march 
by the Mont C^nis and Genoa. 

On January 20th Prince Napoleon was married to the Princess 
Clothilde, the King accompan}dng the married pair as far as 
Genoa. He was received with enthusiasm, the first time that such 
feeling had been shown towards a King of Sardinia. Meanwhile, 
although Great Britain was opposed to an active policy, the 
stubbornness of Austria played into Cavour's hands. When Lord 
Malmesbury urged Austria to evacuate the Legations and use her 



influence with the Italian princes to procure the concession of 
necessary reforms. Count Buol replied : " We do not intend to 
abdicate our right of intervention, and if we are called upon to 
protect the Italian Sovereigns with our arms we shall do so. We 
shall not reconmiend their Government to undertake any reforms. 
France plays the part of protectress of nationalities; we are, 
and shall be, protectors of national rights." 
I ffipaUup At the beginning of 1859 there appeared in Paris a pamphlet 
*•••■• entitled Napoleon III. tt I'lUUie, which had been written by 

Vicomte la Guerriftre in 1858, and expressed the views of the 
Emperor. It proposed to form Italy into a confederation, with 
the Pope at its head, but was opposed to Italian unity, consider- 
ing the differences in the peninsula too serious to make this 
possible. These were not the views of Cavour, who steadily kept 
in view the formation of a united Italy, and knew it could only be 
brought about by a war with Austria. He therefore asked the 
Chambers for a loan of ;f 2,000,000. This was carried in the Lower 
House by a majority of 116 votes to 35, and in the Upper by 
59 votes against 7. Rothschild refused to finance it, and it was 
thrown open to public subscription at 79. It was subscribed for 
with enthusiasm, and especially remarkable was the nimiber of 
people who took five-franc and twenty-franc shares. 
OattMvlBi In Paris the Chambers were opened on February 17th, and the 

of Um War Emperor declared war with Austria neither inevitable nor even 
OlwMt. probable. Indeed, the force of pubUc opinion in France was 
against war. It was opposed by Walewski, Gortshakov, Lord 
Cowley, the newspapers, and the Empress. The Emperor was in 
favour of it, because it destroyed the treaties of 1815 and gratified 
the Italian sympathies of his youth. On February 23rd Lord 
Cowley was sent to Vienna to request the Austrians to evacuate 
the Papal dominions and to stop interference with Italian affairs. 
But Cavour did not lose heart or hope. On March 8th he 
mobilised the army, in answer to Austria, which had massed 
troops on the Italian frontier, and on March 17th he formed the 
corps of the Cacciatori delle Alpi, to which volunteers flocked 
from every part of Italy — from Piedmont, Tuscany, the Duchies, 
Lombardy, and Venice. 
A Pfopottd When Lord Cowley returned from Vienna, without having 
effected his object, Russia proposed a congress, which was sup- 
ported by Great Britain. This was accepted by Buol, on condition 
that Piedmont should not be admitted to it, and that Austria 
should not attend it till Piedmont had disarmed and disbanded 
her volunteers. The Powers agreed to the exclusion of Piedmont, 




and the idea of a congress seemed to find favour with the Emperor. 
On March 23rd Cavour went to Paris and saw Walewski, who 
told him that the Emperor had determined to support the project 
of an Italian confederation in the congress, and not to interfere 
in the affairs of Italy, except by peaceful means. Cavour was 
overwhelmed ; he saw the work of seven years rendered useless. 
He determined to go away, without seeing the Emperor, to 
resign, and make the King abdicate, and was pacified with diffi- 
culty. On March 26th he did see the Emperor, and refused 
positively to disarm. He reminded Napoleon of the engagements 
entered into at Plombitees, which included the marriage of Princess 
Clothilde, which had already taken place, and threatened that, if 
war were not declared, he would go to America and publish their 

On April loth the congress was accepted by France and Great CaTourt 
Britain, but Austria would not agree to it, unless Piedmont ^Lfj^ 
previously disarmed. Cavour telegraphed to Prince Napoleon 
on April i8th, '" We will not disarm. It is better to fall with 
arms in our hands than to ruin ourselves miserably in anarchy." 
On the night of April i8th Cavour was awakened from his slumbers 
by a telegram from Walewski, in the name of the Emperor, saying 
that France had accepted the British proposals for a congress, 
and that Cavour must tel^praph his acceptance inmfiediately. It 
was a terrible shock. " Nothing remains," he said, " but to blow 
my brains out." He was obliged, however, to reply in the affirma- 
tive, but a ray of hope came from the reflection that Austria had 
not accepted. Indeed, he heard on April 20th that Francis Joseph 
had determined on war. But these two days were periods of 
indescribable anguish, the saddest in his life, not excepting those 
which foUowed Villafranca. However, on April 26th, Cavour 
learned that Austria had declined the British proposal to admit 
the Italian States to the congress, and his anxieties were relieved. 
The fact was that war with Italy had been decided upon at Vienna 
on April loth at a council at which all the Grand Dukes were 
present, and she now sent Italy an ultimatum to disarm. This 
was the stelUme, the " great star," the prize in the lottery, which 
cheered the Liberal statesmen of Italy and set the seal to the 
efforts of so many years. On April 26th the French Ambassador 
at Vienna informed Count Buol that the violation of the Sardinian 
frontier by an Austrian army would be considered in the light of 
a declaration of war. 

The Austrian army crossed the frontier on April 29th, about The War 
200,000 strong, divided into two army corps, their object being *•<*■■• 




ne Forees 


to crush the Sardinian army before the French could arrive. But 
the heads of the French columns had passed the frontiers of Savoy 
three days before, although the proclamation of the Emperor 
was not issued until May 3rd. The French army consisted of 
about 130,000 men and 330 gtms, divided into five army corps, 
in addition to the Imperial Guard. Besides this, 8,700 men of 
the French troops landed at Genoa, and 4,000 went to the assist- 
ance of the Piedmontese in the Alpine valleys. PubUc opinion in 
France began to change in favour of the war, and this produced 
the enrolment of 30,000 volunteers. 

The first French troops entered Turin on April 29th, and the 
Emperor Napoleon landed on May 12th at Genoa, where he was 
received by Victor Emmanuel and Cavour, and on May 14th he 
reached Alessandria. The French army might now be considered 
to have joined the Piedmontese, and the object of their strat^cal 
march had been attained. The Sardinian army numbered at 
this time 76,000 infantry, 5,400 cavalry, and 2,700 artillery, 
making a total of 84,000 men. But this force was not realty 
present in the field, and after making the necessary reductions 
the forces of the sub-Alpine kingdom cannot be placed at 
more than 62,332 men with 90 gims. Besides these were the 
three regiments of Garibaldi, which did splendid service, and a 
National Guard of 26,000. Altogether, the forces of the AUies 
cannot be placed at less than 260,000 men, which was consider- 
ably more than the Austrians. 

Military authorities almost unanimously blame the strategy 
of the Austrians at this time. Instead of attacking the right wing 
of the Sardinian army or hindering the march of the French, they 
confined themselves to threatening the left wing of the Sardinians, 
and consequently gave the attack to their opponents. If they 
had decided on a defensive policy, it would have been better 
not to cross the Ticino, but to complete their preparations. As 
it was, the only advantage they gained was that they were occupy- 
ing the enemy's coimtry and living at the enemy's expense. 

On the other hand, the enemy had full knowledge of their 
movements, their own information about the Allies being so 
extremely defective that their headquarters were frequently better 
informed by the newspapers than by their own agents. At first 
they were able to spend their time in healthy exercises, but on 
the evening of May 14th it began to rain, and they were driven 
into their camp. As the Austrians were very badly informed as 
to the movements of the Allies, Stadion was sent to reconnoitre^ 
with a force of 18,000 men 



This kd to the first encounter between the two armies, on Battle ©f 
May 30th, an engagement generally known as the Battle of Monte- ''w*********- 
bello, a place distinguished in the wars of Napoleon I. The 
Austrians reached Casteggio about midday and found the place 
deserted, with windows and doors shut as if no one were living in 
it. The Austrian infantry took possession of it, and the hussars 
of the advanced guard went on to Genestrello. They reported 
that the village was held by the enemy's infantry, and Scha£E- 
gotsche determined to drive them out, although he had orders 
not to engage, that he might not be attacked himself. When 
Genestrello had been occupied without difficulty, Schaffgotsche 
observed that he had a strong body of the enemy in front of him, 
and therefore b^an a new attack about the middle of the day. 
This body was formed by the troops of Forey, who had marched 
up from Voghera to defend his outposts. 

The first cannon-shot was fired at 1.15 p.m., and the Austrians, lYictery 
who were up to this time superior in numbers to the French, l^T,^* 
continued to advance, but by 2 p.m. the rest of Forey's division 
had arrived in the field and the conditions of the battle were 
changed. At 3 p.m. Schaflgotsche had been driven from Genes- 
trello, and had taken up his position at Montebello, which is 
situated on a hill of considerable strength. The two armies were 
now about equal in numbers, but the Austrians were fresh and 
had plenty of cover. Forey, however, did not hesitate to attack. 
The cavalry, artillery, and two battaUons of foot soldiers, advanced 
along the main road, while the bulk of the infantry, leaving their 
knapsacks behind them, cUmbed the precipitous wooded slope to 
the southern point of Montebello, from which the village descends 
in one long street towards the high road. The French were 
obliged to capture house after house, and fight hand to hand 
with great loss of life. The artillery took scarcely any part in 
the engagement. At last the village was won and the Austrians 
retreated to Casteggio. Forey had thus in four hours driven 
back, first a brigade of 3,000 and then one of 4,000 men. Stadion 
had now 18,000 men under him, and of these 4,000 or 5,000 were 
really in hand. But he did nothing, and the French were allowed 
to claim the victory undisturbed. The Austrians lost 1,293 men 
and the French 723. 

Giulay had in the beginning confined his attention to the north Capture of 
side of the Po, but the affair of Montebello led him to suppose that P*l«»t">« 
the main attack of the French would be delivered towards the 
south, in the direction of Piacenza, and he made his prepara- 
tions accordingly. This theory, however, was erroneous, because 



Napoleon's plan was to march towards the north and attack the 
right wing of the Austrians and advance upon Milan. The orders 
for the French army to march on the left flank were issued on 
May 27th, but the movement was to be masked by the Sardinian 
army» which for this piu'pose was to push on towards Robbio, by 
way of Palestro. The groxmd through which the Sardinians 
advanced was of such a nature that the Austrians were imable 
to see what was going on, whereas, on their side, the infantry 
found it difficult, and indeed almost impossible, to cross the rice 
fields, cut up by ditches and canals. Palestro is about six miles 
distant from Vercelli, which is situated on the other side of the 
Serio. The Serio, which is usually dry, was at this time full of 
water, from the abundant rain which had fallen, and a bridge 
over it had to be constructed with some difficulty, across which 
the Sardinian army passed. The crossing occupied the whole 
morning, but did not apparently attract the attention of the 
Austrians, and shortly after midday Victor Emmanuel was able 
to make an attack upon Palestro. The Austrians, at first, man- 
aged to repel all assaults ; but when the Sardinians were able, by 
building a bridge, to attack on the other side, they were obliged 
to retire. An attempt to retake Palestro was frustrated by 
Cialdini, who arrived with superior forces, and the Austrians 
retreated to Robbio. In this engagement the Austrians lost 460 
men and the Sardinians 140. 
AnfMaa Both sides were aware that Palestro was the key of the 

iiIn!!S!!r!!^ position, as it conmianded the passage of the Serio. Victor 
^^ Enmianuel, feeling insecure, asked for assistance from his allies, 
and Palestro was occupied by 14,000 men. The Austrians now 
made a serious effort to retake it and assaulted it with superior 
numbers. The first gun was fired at 10.30 a.m., and a battalion 
of jagers rushed to storm the village. Although the Sardinians 
had thrown up earthworks in the night, the Austrians penetrated 
to the first houses of the village, but were not able to hold their 
ground ; they retreated, and the Sardinians pursued them as they 
fled. The left column met with no better success. Szabo attacked 
the French with his artillery, as they were crossing walls, and they 
suffered some loss. In another attack a number of Austrians were 
drowned in the canal and the Serio, and Szabo was compelled to 
retire with great loss. The result of the battle was entirely in 
favour of the Allies, the Austrians having lost more than 2,000 
men in the two days. 

In the meantime Garibaldi, who had been made a general in 
the Sardinian army, and was in command of the Cacciatori delle 



Alpi, placed his headquarters at Varese. He repulsed an attack 
by General Urban, occupied Como, and threatened Monza, but 
failed to take the strong fortress of Laveno, on the shores of Lago 
Maggiore. The Austrians, however, were now in full retreat 
towards the Ticino. They were in worse condition than if they 
had never advanced but had waited to be attacked. In this case 
they might have met the AUies with seven complete army corps, 
and threatened the passage of the river with some hope of success. 
As it was, they were dispersed in a long line extending from Varese 
to Piacenza, the troops weary with marching, weakened by fight- 
ing, and disheartened by defeat. 

The Battle of Magenta was fought on June 4th, the day on Tlie Battte- 
which the Emperor had determined to pass the Ticino. Magenta J^* ^ 
is a village of 400 inhabitants, situated on the high road between ***" 
Novara and Milan, about four miles from the left bank of the 
Ticino. About halfway between it and the river runs the canal 
of the NavigUo Grande, which carries the waters of the Ticino 
to Milan. The canal is deep and Ues between high banks, so 
that it is difficult to cross. In this part of its course it is crossed 
by six bridges — ^that of Benevento in the north, Buffalora about 
a mile below, Ponte Nuovo di Magenta on the high road, the 
railway bridge about a third of a mile below, and by Ponte Vecchio 
di Magenta and Robecco to the south. All these bridges had 
been manned and placed in a condition of defence by the Austrians, 
and a strong redoubt had been built at the railway bridge. The 
bridge of Buffalora and the Ponte Nuovo had also special defences. 
From the bridge which crosses the Ticino at San Martino four 
roads diverge — ^the main road to Milan, which passes by Magenta, 
in the middle ; to the left the road to Buffalora ; to the right the 
railway ; and still farther to the right the roads to Ponte Vecchio 
and Robecco. 

Magenta thus formed a formidable defensive position, and ^ Biuppriie 
Giulay had intended to concentrate the whole of his forces there. ****^^ 
But, owing to various circumstances, he could not get together 
more than a third of them, while the French were not able to 
dispose of more than a quarter of their strength for the attack. 
On the morning of June 4th the Austrians were not expecting an 
attack, and had just finished their food, when they heard that 
three heads of French columns were advancing upon Buffalora. 
A brigade was immediately sent to protect the two bridges which 
had not been destroyed — that over the high road and that over 
the railway, and the slowness of the French advance enabled them 
to do this. 

c 17 


A Hard- 

Where wag 

The heads of the French columns advanced at 10.30 a.m. The 
first shots were fired on the roads which lead over the Ticino to 
the Navigho. Wimpffen led his troops partly by the Buffalora 
road and partly by the railway ; while the Zouaves, with two 
pieces of artillery, marched along the central causeway. The 
Austrians fired at the advancing troops, gradually retiring on the 
railway. The French skirmishers were stopped by a heavy fire, 
and Wimpffen found the Naviglio well defended. But Canrobert 
had not arrived, and nothing had been heard of MacMahon, so 
the Emperor suspended his attack and withdrew Wimpffen to 
a position 400 yards in advance of the Ticino. At midday the 
fire of MacMahon was heard on the left, and Wimpffen resumed 
his advance. He was, however, driven back over the Buffalora 

Attacks on other quarters were repelled by the arrival of 
Austrian reinforcements ; the battle swayed backwards and 
forwards, as the forces were relatively greater in number on either 
side. At 3 p.m. two points on the NavigUo were in possession of 
MeUinet's division, which, however, consisted of only 5,000 men, 
and had no reserve to support it. Nothing had been heard of 
Canrobert and Niel, and the advance of MacMahon had been 
arrested. The position was very critical, but just at this moment 
Picard's brigade, which formed part of Canrobert's division, arrived. 
They reached the bridge of San Martino at 2 p.m., and were able 
to support Wimpffen, who was in difficulties. They gained 
possession of the village of Ponte Vecchio and made numerous 
prisoners, but could not get any farther. However, at 3.30 p.m. 
the position of affairs was decidedly more favourable for the 

At the same time the position of the Emperor was very serious. 
When asked for reinforcements, he replied, like Napoleon at 
Waterloo, that he had none to send. The French columns on the 
Ponte Nuovo were visibly thinned ; they could not advance, and 
they would not retreat. For hours nothing had been heard of 
MacMahon on the left, and the enemy were beginning to press with 
terrible force on the right. Just at this moment MacMahon's 
cannon were again heard, and Canrobert came up in person to 
announce that reinforcements were at hand. MacMahon had 
crossed both the Ticino and the Naviglio at Turbigo, far away to 
the left, to attack the right flank of the Austrians, but had met 
with unexpected difficulties. Leaving Tmrbigo at 9.30 a.m., he 
advanced towards Buffalora and Magenta in two columns ; but 
they were stoutly resisted by the Austrian reserves. The result 



was that his advance was delayed for two hours, and that he was 
unable to rejoin the Emperor. He and his staff remained in a 
condition of feverish impatience, whilst the musketry and cannon 
fire sounded fiercely from the NavigUo, and the south wind brought 
the smell of powder to their nostrils. At last Espinasse and La 
Motterouge were able to advance to Magenta and, after heavy 
fighting and considerable loss, the junction of the two colimins 
was effected about five in the afternoon. 

At last MacMahon was able to re-form his lines and order the Results of 
advance from aU sides on the bell tower of Magenta. His troops ■•^•nU, 
marched forward, with dnuns beating and colours fl)dng, and 
they found little resistance tmtil Magenta was reached. Here 
every house was pierced for musketry, the streets were blocked 
with barricades, the gardens turned into redoubts, the church- 
yard and even the bell tower armed with artillery and riflemen. 
The battle raged with especial fury at the open space of the 
railway station, and here the gallant Espinasse was killed. No 
essential progress was made till the arrival of Trochu at the Ponte 
Vecchio at 7 p.m., and it was not till 9 that the field of battle was 
entirely in possession of the French. In the battle the AUies lost 
4,500 men, of whom 100 were taken prisoners ; the Austrians 
Jest 10,000, of whom 5,000 were prisoners. MacMahon received 
the title of Duke of Magenta, which he had won by his success- 
ful exertions in marching the two divisions, and his wisdom in 
attacking the right and the reserve of the Austrians, by which many 
prisoners were made. After all. Magenta was very much a drawn 
battle. It was expected that the Austrians would renew the 
attack, but on Jime 5th Giulay ordered the retreat, the last order 
which he had the opportunity of giving, as he was immediately 
afterwards deprived of his command. 

At midday on Jime 5th the Milanese discovered that there Triumphal 
were no more Austrians in the city, and the municipaUty sent the Bntry into 
keys of the town to Victor Emmanuel. On June 7th MacMahon's *^*"* 
corps began to march down the street, and on the following day 
the King and the Emperor made their entry in a deUrium of 
enthusiasm. Napoleon exclaimed, " How much the people must 
have suffered ! " On the same day he issued a proclamation to 
the Italian people, in which he said : " Providence sometimes 
favours nations as it does individuals, giving them the oppor- 
tunity of becoming great in a single day ; but only on the 
condition that they know how to profit by it. Your desire for 
independence, so long expressed, so often disappointed, will be 
fulfilled if you know how to show yourselves worthy of it. Let 



Death of 

to the 

of Bolferino. 

all of you unite in one sole desire, the liberation of your country. 
Organise your military arrangements. Fly to the banner of Victor 
Emmanuel, who has so nobly prepared for you the way of honour. 
Remember that there can be no army without discipUne, and 
burning with the sacred fire of patriotism, be soldiers to-day 
that to-morrow you may become the free citizens of a great 

In fact, the liberation of Italy was progressing weD, with greater 
rapidity than Napoleon III. either expected or desired. Leopold, 
Grand Duke of Tuscany, had left his coimtry on April 29th. It 
was at this time ruled by Ricasoli, assisted by the baker Giuseppe 
Dolfi, of whom it was said that he could any day collect in the 
Piazza della Signoria 10,000 men who would do whatever he told 
them. The Duke went from Modena and the Duchess Regent from 
Parma as soon as the protecting Austrians were withdrawn and 
the Romagna demanded to be annexed to Piedmont. Farina was 
sent to administer Modena and Parma, and Massimo d'Azeglio 
the Romagna. Ferdinand II. of Naples — generally known as 
" Bomba " — died rather suddenly on May 22nd, and was suc- 
ceeded by his youthful son. If he had joined Sardinia in the 
war against Austria he might have kept his throne, but his 
refusal rendered its forfeiture inevitable. 

It was now evident that the Austrians intended to withdraw 
to the Mincio, where they would be defended by the famous 
Quadrilateral of Mantua, Verona, Peschiera and Legnago. The 
Emperor attempted to impede this movement by dispatching 
troops to Lodi, hoping they would reach the Adda before the 
rearguard of the enemy, and be able to divide his forces. The 
movement failed, for the rearguard reached Lembo a few hours 
before the French. Except a brush with Benedek at Melegnano, 
no engagement of any importance took place imtil the Battle of 
Solferino, fought on June 24th, 1859, which put an end to the 
war. This was fought in a space bounded to the north by Lago 
di Garda and the railway, on the south by the Oglio, on the west 
by the Chiese, and on the east by the Mincio, being about twenty 
miles long and twelve miles broad. 

This historic area contains some of the most beautiful scenery 
in Europe. It is traversed by three ranges of hills, one below the 
other, each of which played a part in the battle, the most 
important being the southernmost range, which overlooks the 
Italian plain. On the northern range he the villages of San 
Martino, OstigKo and Feniletta, which lay within the operations 
of the Sardinian army ; on the central range were Castelvenzago 



and La Madonna della Scoperta, and on the southern Vilsana, 
Fenile, Solferino and Cavriana. High in the midst rises the 
watch-tower of Solferino, which from its commanding view had 
obtained the name of La Spia d'ltaUa. 

The plain below the hills is traversed by the high road lead- 
ing from Castighone to Mantua, on which Ue Guidizzolo and Goito. 
The traveUer proceeding along this road sees first the hamlet of 
La Fontana, then the village of Le Grote, half hidden imder a 
fold of Monte Penile, then some of the houses of Cavriana in the 
mountains, and then, at some distance, Volta with its conspicu- 
ous campanile. The fields are planted with rice, mulberries and 
maize. The wayfarer then reaches Guidizzolo, a large village, 
from which issue three carriageable roads, one to Volta, one to 
Cavriana, and one to Cenesara in the south. To the right of this 
great high road Ue the villages of Carpenedolo, south-west of 
Castighone, and Medole, to the west of Guidizzolo and Cenesara. 
The groimd between Guidizzolo and Medole is covered with many 
houses, whose red-tiled roofs are visible through the trees, the 
hamlet of Rebecco forming the principal group. Still farther on 
the right are situated Acqua Fredda, the walls and towers of Castel 
Goffredo, and other villages. 

The French army consisted of five army corps and five iMspotiiloii 
Sardinian divisions, bringing up the strength of the Allies to ©^ W** 
seventeen divisions of infantry, five of cavaky, and a number of ^S^** 
cannon, making a total of 160,000 men. The Austrian army had 
eight army corps of infantry and one corps of cavalry, making 
124 battalions of infantry and sixty squadrons of cavalry, amount- 
ing altogether to about the same number of 160,000 men, under 
the personal command of the Emperor Francis Joseph. On the 
morning of June 23rd the headquarters of the Emperor of Austria 
were at Villafranca ; those of the first army corps, under Stadion, 
were at Mantua ; those of the second army corps, imder Schlick, 
were at Custozza. The eighth army corps, imder Benedek, form- 
ing the extreme right, was at Peschiera ; the second, forming the 
extreme left, under Lichtenstein, at Mantua. The plan was that, 
on the morning of June 23rd the Austrians should advance from 
their positions to surprise the enemy, falling on their right flank 
and driving them towards the Alps, the decisive battle being left 
to the following day. According to this plan, they crossed the 
Mincio at six points and occupied, before the evening, a number 
of the villages already enumerated, Pozzolengo, Solferino, Cavriana, 
Guidizzolo, Rebecco and Medole, their advance posts being at 
Madonna della Scoperta, Le Grote and Castel Goffredo. It was 



intended that the army should advance to the Chiese at 9 on the 

morning of Jime 24th. 

In Before this could be done the bulk of the allied army had 

Unexpected crossed the Chiese, the intention of the French being to occupy 

mJit*^ the hilly country and to force a passage across the Mincio. On 

Jime 23rd the headquarters of the Emperor were at Montechiaro, 
and it was heard that on the following day the army would reach 
the Mincio, the headquarters being at Castighone. The army 
was to begin its march at 2 p.m., in order to avoid the great heat 
of the sun. It thus happened that the two armies came into 
coUision while they were preparing to make an offensive attack 
in opposite directions, neither being prepared to fight an imme- 
diate battle. The problem before both was to transform a line 
of march most rapidly into a line of battle. 
The Battle Accordingly the Battle of Solferino may be divided into two 

of Bolferiiio. periods, the first resulting from the fortuitous shock of the two 
hosts, neither of whom had expected to meet the other, the orders 
given for the march on either side having not yet been modified ; 
the second period, b^inning when the action became general, 
may be divided into two smaller sections, the attack of the French 
on the centre, and that of the Austrians on the left. The 
Sardinians and the eighth army corps under Benedek had, as 
it were, a battle to themselves. It will thus be seen that two 
armies, nearly equal in strength, marching towards each other in 
a front of equal length, without knowing each other's positions, 
met in the line marked by the villages of San Martino, Solferino, 
Guidizzolo and Medole. 
BnmnuLFy of The Austrian army tried at first to execute its original plan 
the Battle, ^f turning the French right, and driving it towards the Alps, while 

the army of the AlUes concentrated towards its centre. In this 
manner the positions of Solferino and San Casciano were attacked 
by three French corps and defended by three Austrian corps. The 
French succeeded in piercing the centre of the Austrian army, 
because their three corps attacked simultaneously, whereas the 
Austrian corps only came up one after the other. At the same 
time, the Austrian corps which had been intended to turn the 
French right were defeated by two French corps, because they 
could not succeed in acting together, and one corps, which was 
intended to strike a decisive blow, was never engaged at all. On 
the Austrian right the eighth corps succeeded in holding back the 
Sardinians till nightfall, but could not redeem disaster in other 
parts of the field. The capture of Cavriana finally put an end to 
the battle, and the Austrians retired behind the Mincio. 



Let us now describe the battle more in detail. By orders 
issued the night before the Sardinians were to march on Pozzo- 
lengo, Baraguay d'Hilliers on Solferino, MacMahon on Cavriana, 
Niel on Guidizzolo, Canrobert on Medole, and the Imperial Guard 
on Castiglione, the cavalry marching in the plain between Solferino 
and Medole. Setting out at 3 a.m., the French encountered no 
serious opposition till 5 a.m., when MacMahon perceived that the 
situation was becoming dangerous. He halted and remained 
inactive for two hours. About 7 a.m. MacMahon was informed 
that Niel had arrived before Medole, that as soon as he had taken 
that village he would concentrate on his left, and that Canrobert 
would do the same. MacMahon, therefore, at 8.30 a.m. took 
possession of Casa Marino, commanding the lower groimd of 
Guidizzolo. He was opposed by a strong Austrian force coming 
from that place, which did not drive him back, but caused him 
considerable loss. He did not hear that Niel's corps was in a 
position to join him till 11 a.m., and he was then able to advance 
towards Solferino, where a vigorous battle had been proceeding 
for some time. It had thus taken six hours for the French right 
to change an order of march into an order of battle. 

Early in the day the Emperor discerned from a height in the Retreat 
neighboiurhood of CastigUone that a serious battle was proceed- of tlie 
ing. He determined to concentrate on his centre, and directed ^^^f^^B^- 
his attack on Solferino and Cavriana, giving orders to Niel and 
Canrobert to move towards their left, and to the Sardinians to 
move towards their right. Baraguay d'Hilliers was now assault- 
ing the strong position of Solferino, held by Stadion, the hill 
covered with cypresses, the graveyard and the castle dominated 
by the well-known tower, " The Spy of Italy." The place was in 
excellent condition for defence, and well supplied with artillery. 
The walls of the cemetery, defended by a flank of the cypress- 
covered hill, defied all efforts, and the Austrians were able to act 
energetically on the offensive. The struggle was terrific, and it 
was not till 3 in the afternoon that the French could hoist their 
victorious flags on the tower and the C5^ress hills. At last the 
Austrians were driven from Solferino, and an important point 
had been gained. Cavriana still remained to be taken — a village 
strengthened by ancient walls and by a castle. This was attacked 
at 4 in the afternoon after Solferino had been taken. MacMahon 
was able to assault the strong position from the other side and, in 
consequence of this double attack, the place fell about 4.30 p.m. 
Two hours later the Austrians began to retreat in all directions, 
and their centre was entirely in the hands of the French. 






of tiie 

Peaee of 

Notwithstanding this success, Niel was not able to take 
Guidizzolo, which the Austrians held till 7 in the evening, and 
Victor Emmanuel could not capture San Martino till sunset, when 
the capture of Solferino and Cavriana was already known. The 
Sardinians were able to hold the high ground they had captm"ed, 
but lost 6,000 men, considerably more than their adversaries. 
At the battle the Emperor of the French occupied the quarters 
which the Emperor of Austria had occupied the night before. 
But there was no piu^uit. On June 25th the headquarters of 
Francis Joseph were at Villafranca, and on June 27th at Verona, 
and on this day the French occupied the line of the Mincio. It 
is reckoned that in the battle the Austrians lost 21,500 men and 
the Allies 18,500, of whom 13,000 were French. 

Two great battles had been won by the French, but it was 
not possible to march on to Vienna, nor even to storm the Quad- 
rilateral. It would be necessary to blockade the four fortresses 
one by one. The French army rested from June 25th to July 5th, 
and on July 6th, without consulting the King of Italy, Napoleon 
sent Fleury to Francis Joseph, proposing a meeting of the two 
Emperors at Villafranca, and early in the morning of July 7th the 
offer was accepted. On July 8th an armistice was arranged at 
Villafranca to last till August 15th, and La Marmora telegraphed 
to Cavour the suspension of arms. Cavoiu" hurried to the head- 
quarters of the King on July loth. 

On the following day the interview between the two Emperors 
took place at Villafranca. Francis Joseph spontaneously offered 
the cession of Lombardy, without Mantua or Peschiera, and was 
also willing to cede Parma, provided that the sovereigns of Modena 
and Tuscany were allowed to keep their dominions. Napoleon 
proposed a confederation of ItaUan States imder the presidency of 
theTope. The interview lasted an hoiu" ; no one was present at 
it, and it is probable that nothing was committed to writing. The 
Emperor communicated the results of the interview to the King 
in the presence of Prince Napoleon. It is not precisely known 
how Victor Emmanuel received the news. There is no doubt 
that he was disappointed, that he knew he could not persuade 
the Emperor to further exertions, and that he expressed his 
gratitude for the acquisition of Lombardy, which was a solid gain. 

By the preliminaries of the Peace of Villafranca the Emperor 
of Austria ceded Lombardy to the Emperor of the French, who 
transferred it to the King of Italy. An ItaUan confederation, 
including Venetia, to which Uberal institutions were promised, 
was to be formed, with the Pope at its head ; Tuscany and Modena 



were to return to their Dukes with a general amnesty ; Parma was 
surrendered, but was afterwards retained on the recommendation 
of Russia. The Papal States were to have reforms, the Legations 
a separate administration. The articles were communicated to the 
King, who consented to them because he could not do otherwise. 

It is easy to blame Napoleon. There is no doubt he eagerly CaTonr and 
desired that Italy should possess Venetia and the Quadrilateral, ^^^1^^^ 
but circumstances were too strong for him, and it was impossible 
to continue the war. How did Cavour receive the news ? We 
will use the narrative of the Countess Martinengo Cesaresco, who 
was probably weU informed, and is certainly wise and temperate. 

" Cavour," she wrote, " rushed from Turin to Desenzano, 
where he arrived the day before the final meeting between 
Napoleon and Francis Joseph. He waited for a carriage in the 
little caf^ in the piazza. No one guessed who it was, and con- 
versation went on iminterrupted ; it was full of sneers at the 
French Emperor. Mazzini, someone said, was right ; this was 
the way the war was sure to end. When a shabby conveyance 
had at length been found, the great statesman drove to Monzam- 
bano. There, of course, his arrival did not escape notice, and all 
who saw him were horrified at the change that had come over 
his face. Instead of the jovial, witty smile, there was a look of 
frantic rage and desperation. 

" What passed between him and his Sovereign is partly a 
matter of conjecture ; the exact sense of the violent words into 
which grief betrayed him is lost, in spite of the categorical versions 
of the interview which have been printed. Even in a fit of mad- 
ness he can hardly have spoken some of the words attributed to 
him. That he advised the King to withdraw his army and 
abdicate rather than agree to the treason which was being plotted 
behind his back seems past doubting. It is said that, after 
attempting in vain to calm him, Victor Emmanuel brought the 
interview to a sudden close. 

" Cavour came out of the house flushed and exhausted, and CaYonr^i 
drove back to Desenzano : he had resigned office. Kossuth relates R««*<tt»tloii, 
that on July 14th Cavour said in his presence, to Pietri, the private 
secretary of Napoleon, that there was one thing in which a man 
can never compromise, and that was honoiu*. ' Your Emperor 
has dishonoured me ; he gave me his word that he would not 
desist till he had driven the Austrians out of Italy, and he took 
Savoy and Nice as a recompense. I persuaded my King to 
consent, to make the sacrifice, for Italy. My King, a good and 
honest man, consented, trusting to my word, and now the Emperor 



carries off the recompense and leaves us in the lurch. Certainly — 
I say it not before you, but before God — ^this peace shall never 
be concluded, this treaty shall never be executed. I will make 
myself a conspirator, a revolutionary. No, this treaty shall never 
be executed. No, a thousand times no ! Never, never ! ' " 
Resnlti of After all, what happened was probably for the best. Another 
fhe Peaee. Solferino might have driven the Austrians from Italy and estab- 
lished a powerful kingdom in northern Italy ; but it would have 
left the rest of the peninsula under the virtual government of 
the Dukes and established a confederation, which would have 
made the unity of Italy impossible. The Peace of Villafranca was 
really the salvation of Italy. Otherwise Italy would have remained 
under the influence of France, and the other Powers of Europe 
would have looked upon the new kingdom as the creation of that 
country. As it was, both Prussia and Great Britain began to 
consider the unity of Italy as coming within the range of practical 
politics. The restoration of Italy — advanced a step further in 
1866, completed in 1870 — ^was to await the consecration of other 
efforts, if it should become a fabric resting on natural forces, and 
of such a character as to endure the shocks of circumstance and 



The Ciyil War ih America 

The Civil War in America between the Northern and Southern The BlaTerj 
States arose out of the question of slavery. It will, therefore, be O'l****^"* 
well to give a short history of this question from the time at 
which our narrative opens — ^the year 1815. At that date all the 
Eastern Middle States, excepting Delaware, were non-Slavery, or, 
as they were called in America, Free Soil. Slavery was prohibited 
in the North-West Territory, American citizens were forbidden to 
engage in the slave trade of foreign countries, subjects of foreign 
cotmtries were prohibited from engaging in the American slave trade, 
and the importation of slaves into the United States was forbidden 
by law. Of the twenty-two States which, before 1820, composed 
the Union, eleven were slave-holding and eleven free, so that the 
two principles were equally represented in the Senate. In 1821 
the State of Missouri was created, lying west of Mississippi, and 
being part of the Louisiana Reserve, in which slavery had been 
left an open question. Missouri had wished to be a slave State, but 
the Anti-Slavery party were determined that it should not be. 
A fierce struggle went on, and in 1820 the famous Missouri Com- 
promise was effected, by which Missouri was admitted to be 
known as a slave-holding State, but in aU the rest of the Louisiana 
Reserve slavery was " for ever prohibited." A few months 
previously Maine had been admitted as a free State, so that the 
balance in the Senate was preserved. 

HostiUty to slavery as a moral and pohtical wrong now spread Anti- 
widely and grew in intensity. A paper, called the Liberator, ^U'^'y 
urging the aboUtion of slavery, was established at Boston by 
William Lloyd Garrison. Although violently attacked by the 
slave-holding States, Garrison gathered round him a band of 
abohtionists, and in 1832 founded the New England Anti-Slavery 
Society. The dissensions between the slave-holders and the 
abolitionists came to a head about the admission of Texas to the 
Union, which was finally settled in December, 1845. Texas, a 
slave-holding State, had been, first, part of the Mexican Confedera- 
tion and then independent, and by its adherence to the Union 
slavery became illegal. The admission of Texas also led to a war 



the Bonth. 


with Mexico. At last, in 1850, feeling rose so high that there was 
grave danger that the Union would be broken up ; and Henry 
Clay, who, after an absence of eight years, had come back to the 
Senate, bent all his talents and eneigies to the effecting of a 
^« Gold had been discovered in California, and it became neces- 

sary to admit that territory to the Union. Should it be slave or 
free ? If it were free it would destroy the balance in the Senate, 
making sixteen free to fifteen slave-holding States. A similar 
difficulty arose about the admission of the Mormon State of 
Deseret or Utah, which had formed part of Mexico. The Wilmot 
Proviso, discussed in 1848, laid down that any State formed out 
of territory acquired from Mexico should be Free Soil. The South 
threatened secession if this were apphed to New Mexico and Utah. 
The South, further, demanded more stringent l^slation for the 
capture and return of fugitive slaves, and the North insisted on 
the aboUtion of slavery and the slave trade in the District of 

Clay proposed, as a compromise, that California should be 
admitted as a free State, that New Mexico and Utah should be 
made Territories without restriction of slavery, that the boundary 
between Texas and New Mexico shotdd be settled, that slavery 
should not be abolished in the District of Colimibia without the 
consent of the inhabitants or without compensation, and that 
more effectual provision should be made by law for the return of 
fugitive slaves. These resolutions were referred to a committee 
of thirteen, and eventually, after much discussion and some 
amendments, were adopted. 
DependAiica If the cause of aboUtion were growing in the North, the South 
iL^ had good reason for resisting it. The possession of slaves gave 
BUveFy. ^^^ leisure, as it gave leisure to the Greeks, and fostered the growth 
of a ruling class, so that the Southern half of the Union was 
r^arded as the mother of statesmen, bom with the instinct for 
and the habit of leadership. The makers of America — ^Madison, 
Washington and Jefferson — came from the South. Virginian 
statesmen had held the Presidency for thirty-two out of the 
first forty years of the existence of the Union. Throughout 
American history the South had played a part, in the contest 
of parties, out of proportion to her importance in wealth and 

Now the South was losing her pre-eminence. She had no 
manufactures and few immigrants, while the growth of industries 
and the influence of foreign immigrants were enhancing, every 



year, the power and prosperity of the North. As time went on, the 
pressure of these forces became more intense. The population of 
the United States increased everywhere else by leaps and bounds, 
but in the South remained stationary. While the rest of the 
country gained each year new sources of wealth and power, none 
came to the South. Even her own population left her for the 
West and North. In obedience to such forces, the conditions 
of poUtical parties began to change. 

From the Presidency of Washington to that of Monroe the Hew 
coimtry had been governed, much as Great Britain was governed, Tewitoriei 
by the advice of a few distinguished leaders and conference .^^^t. 
between the most prominent members of the two Houses of 
Congress. A change set in on the election of Andrew Jackson in 
1828, and the old order disappeared for ever. The nominating 
convention by which Presidents are still virtually elected dates 
from 1832, and was finally consohdated during the next twenty 
years. The effect of this change upon the question of slavery was 
very serious. A strong feeling against slavery grew up. There 
was no desire to abolish it in the States where it was already 
established, for it was admitted that this would be a violation 
of the Constitution, but there was an extension of the Free 
Soil feeling, a determination that slavery should hold no part in 
any new additions to the United States. In every extension 
towards the west this question had to be fought out. It was 
always open, and coidd never be closed so long as there was new 
land to be occupied. 

The Democrats succeeded the Whigs as leaders of the South, The Kaniai- 
as the champions of wise compromise and progressive Conser- Hebraika 
vatism, and it took some time to form a party which could * 

effectually oppose them. The Whigs had been defeated by the 
election of Franklin Pierce to the Presidency in 1852, and the 
American Party, or " Know-Nothings," took their place. For 
the next eight critical years politics were in a very confused 
condition, but the Anti-Slavery cause steadily gained in power. 
Its supporters were irritated by the purchase by Pierce of a terri- 
tory in Mexico which it would be difficult to rescue from the 
grasp of slavery. The creation of the new Territories of Kansas 
and Nebraska led to a serious conflict. Should the new terri- 
tories be Free Soil, in accordance with the Missouri Compromise, 
or decide for themselves whether they should hold slaves or not ? 
This was, and remained, the burning question, even after the 
Nebraska Territory had been opened conditionally to slavery by 
the passing of the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854. 




of the 

Linooln loses 







In 1856 the Republican party was formed in opposition to the 
Democrats ; it united the men of very different opinions, but was 
essentially Anti-Slavery. It had a majority in fifteen States, 
eleven votes in the Senate, and 117 members in the House of 
Representatives. The Presidential election of 1856 was a contest 
between the Democrats and the RepubUcans. The Democrats 
elected James Buchanan, a strong supporter of the South, who 
remained President till 1861. The irritation of the Republicans 
against Democratic supremacy was stimulated by the decision 
of the Supreme Court in the case of Dred Scott, which was 
decidedly favourable to slavery, and by opening the Nebraska 
Territories unconditionally to slavery, knocked the bottom out of 
the Missouri Compromise. 

The contest of the two parties came to a head in Illinois, when 
Douglas, the advocate of State rights with regard to slavery, and 
father of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill, was standing against Abraham 
Lincoln for election to the Senate. Lincoln stated the issue with 
his usual force and acuteness : "A house divided against itself 
cannot stand. I beheve this Government cannot endure half slave 
and half free. I do not expect the house to fall, but I expect 
it will come to be divided. It must have all one thing or all the 
other." The contest ended in the victory of Douglas, but the 
moral victory was on the side of Lincoln. He had become known 
all over the country and was in the nmning for the Presidency. 

Still Buchanan continued the struggle, strongly advocating the 
acquisition of Cuba, which would mean an extension of slave 
territory, and desiring acquisitions in Mexico and in the Isthmus of 
Panama. The South began to threaten disruption, while the 
North opposed even more passionately the predominance of 
slavery. On October i6th, 1859, took place the raid of John 
Brown at Harper's Ferry in Virginia, for the purpose of hberating 
the slaves and bringing about a servile insurrection. Though he 
was hanged, he was a noble and coiu-ageous enthusiast, and the 
flame he kindled spread until it set the whole coimtry in a blaze. 

In these circumstances came the Presidential election of i860. 
The Democrats were divided against themselves ; one section 
nominated Stephen A. Douglas as candidate, another section John 
C. Breckinridge. The Republicans voted soUd for Lincoln, who 
was elected President by 180 votes ; while his three opponents, 
— ^for John Bell, of Tennessee, had been added to the other two — 
only claimed 103 among them. At the same time, the popular 
vote, when analysed, showed that it was a narrow victory ; indeed, 
the actual votes supporting Lincoln were nearly 1,000,000 less 



than those cast for his opponents. Nevertheless, the South felt 
the defeat to be irreparable, and determined to sever their 
connection with the Northern States. 

The Legislature of South Carolina had remained in session to civil War 
hear the results of the election. When it knew that Lincoln was Breaks Out 
certain to be elected it summoned a constitutional Convention 
and renounced the Union, and before Lincoln was inaugurated 
in his office six other States had followed its example — ^namely, 
Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas. On 
December 14th a niunber of the slave State senators and repre- 
sentatives in Congress issued a manifesto from Washington calling 
on their constituents to organise a Southern Confederacy and 
asking each slave-holding State to separate from the Union. 
President Buchanan, it must be added, made no attempt to 
prevent the secession of the States. The next step was to seize 
the forts, arsenals, and custom houses belonging to the Federal or 
central Government. However, Major Anderson, who commanded 
a garrison of about sixty men in Fort Moultrie on the mainland, 
and was not able to hold it, transferred his force by a sudden 
movement to Fort Sumter, which was situated in the middle of 
Charleston Harbour, and could not be approached except by water. 
The capture of Fort Sumter was the first action of the Civil War. 
As it refused to surrender, the Confederate batteries opened fire 
upon it on April 12th, 1861, and on April 14th the fort surrendered 
and the garrison was allowed to march out with the honours of 
war, no life having been lost on either side. 

Although Lincoln was chosen President in November, i860, he Formatloii 
did not enter upon his office till March 4th, 1861, and during this of the 
period Buchanan was responsible for the maintenance of the 5?"fff*'*** 
Government and Constitution of the country. He was quite 
unequal to the emergency. He denied the right of the South to 
secede, but also declared his own power to coerce, and continued 
to offend both sides equally. The South, in the meantime, had 
not been idle, and her representatives gradually withdrew from 
the Senate and Congress. On February 14th they formed a pro- 
visional Government under the title of the Confederate States 
of America, and on March nth adopted a permanent Con- 
stitution under the same name, Jefferson Davis being chosen 

Lincoln was inaugurated as President on March 4th, 1861. 
In his address he declared the Union was perpetual and imbroken, 
and that the ordinances and resolutions of the secession Govern- 
ment were void in law, and promised to execute the law in all the 




OaU to 

The FInt 

The Horth*! 



States. He concluded with an appeal to the South, saying: " In 
your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, is the momentous 
issue of Civil War. You can have no conflict without yourselves 
being the aggressors." They shortly afterwards became the 
aggressors, as we have seen, by the attack on Fort Simiter. 

On April 15th the President issued a proclamation calling out 
75,000 militia for the service of the United States, and two days 
later Jefferson Davis, in a proclamation, offered to issue letters 
of marque and reprisal against Federal commerce. This was met 
by a counter-proclamation of Lincoln, declaring that the Southern 
States were in a state of revolution, and that privateers would be 
subject to the laws against piracy. The response to Lincoln's 
appeal for volunteers was much laiger and more imanimous than 
could have been expected. Recruiting ofl&ces were opened in 
every town, men of all sorts and conditions left their businesses 
to step into the ranks, and in a few days there were placed at the 
disposal of the Government several times as many troops as had 
been called for. All kinds of buildings, even churches, were 
turned into temporary barracks ; village greens and city squares 
were occupied by drilling soldiers ; but there was a great scarcity 
of arms. 

The first blood was shed at Baltimore, where four companies 
of a Massachusetts regiment, who were attempting to march 
across the city, met a riotous procession can^ong a Confederate 
flag. Some provocation being given, orders were issued to fire 
into the mob, and many fell. Three militiamen were killed, and 
their bodies were sent home to their native State, the firstfruits of 
a prolonged service of sacrifice. On the night of May 24th four 
regiments of Northern troops crossed the Potomac and took 
possession of Arlington Heights, which commanded Washington. 
One regiment, commanded by Ellsworth, who had distinguished 
himself by teaching a Chicago company the Zouave drill, marched 
to Alexandria, where a Secessional flag was flying over the 
principal hotel. Accompanied by two soldiers, he went to the 
top of the house and seized the flag, but as he was returning with 
it he was shot by the hotel-keeper on the stairs. Ellsworth became 
a hero of the national movement. 

The militia called out by President Lincoln were at first to 
serve only three months ; but on May 3rd, by another proclama- 
tion, 42,000 volunteers were summoned for three years. He also 
took power to raise ten new regiments for the r^ular army and 
18,000 volunteer seamen for the navy. These steps involved a 
stretch of Presidential authority, but when Congress met on July 



4th the President's action was confirmed. He then asked Congress 
for 400,000 men and 400,000,000 dollars, and received 500,000 
men and 500,000,000. At the same time, the Confederates had 
established their capital at Richmond in Virginia. The Federal 
army became anxious for a forward movement, and a cry was 
raised, "On to Richmond ! " Some experienced officers, such as 
General Scott, were opposed to undertaking an offensive move- 
ment with raw troops, and advised that operations should for the 
moment be confined to the protection of Washington, the capital, 
and the retention of Maryland. However, the three months' 
term of the seventy-five miUtia regiments was rapidly running out, 
and political considerations seemed to require vigorous military 

The Confederate army under Beauregard had been sent to ThePotltloB 
occupy Manassas Jimction, which was the railway centre of >t MiiM i af . 
Northern Virginia. His army was 22,000 strong, and McDowell 
was sent to attack it with a force of 30,000 men. He started on 
his expedition on July i6th. The Southern army had some 
field works at Manassas, armed with fifteen heavy guns and 
garrisoned with 2,000 men ; but Beauregard's main strength was 
posted along the south side of a stream called Bull Run, flowing 
in a south-easterly direction, about three miles east of Manassas. 
On July 17th the Confederate army was distributed along this 
space, seven or eight miles in extent, a brigade being posted at 
each passage of the river, two brigades being held behind in reserve. 
The Federal army in the field was commanded by McDowell, and 
his plan was to turn Beauregard's right flank, to seize the railway 
in the rear of his position, and so to defeat him. It was important 
that Beauregard should not be assisted by Joseph E. Johnston, 
who had an army of 9,000 men in the Shenandoah Valley, and 
Patterson had been told off to prevent this junction. 

McDowell reached Bull Run on July i8th, and the first engage- Ball Rub. 
ment took place at Blackburn's Ford with the loss of about sixty 
men on each side. McDoweD then determined to attack on the 
left wing, partly because he wished to secure the Manassas Gap 
railway, so as to prevent the junction of Johnston and Beauregard. 
Two days were spent in seeking for a passage higher up the river, 
and such a passage was found at a place caUed Sudley's Ford. 
The battle took place on Sunday, July 21st, the Federal army 
advancing three divisions, towards Mitchell's Ford on the right, 
Stone Bridge in the centre, and Sudley's Ford on the left, 
the reserve remaining at Centreville. McDowell, unaware that 
Johnston had succeeded in evading Patterson and had joined 
d 33 



Beaur^ard with part of his forces on the previous day, made a 
feint upon Stone Bridge ; but the bulk of his force marched to 
Sudley's Ford, which was two miles and a half distant. He passed 
the river without opposition, but was soon met by the Confederates 
coming from Stone Bridge. The rest of the Federal army 
remained on the left bank of the stream. The Confederates fell 
back and established themselves on better ground, more capable 
of defence, and also received reinforcements from the right, 
whereas the Federal army became separated and fought in 
loat of ih6 In the early afternoon a brigade, 5,000 strong, arrived by rail, 
Fodirala. formed at right angles to the Federal right, and fell upon it at 

about 4 in the afternoon. The Federals broke and fled over 
the Bull Run, but the Confederate reserves, crossing the river, 
advanced upon Centreville and threatened the reserves posted 
there and the line of retreat, so that the retreat degenerated into 
a rout and a race for Washington. Arms and accoutrements 
were thrown away, drivers of army wagons cut the traces, leaped 
upon the backs of horses, and rode through the crowd of fugitives, 
abandoning guns and trains. The loss of the Confederates was 
about 1,900, that of the Federals 1,500 killed and wounded and 
as many more taken prisoners. The Confederates remained in 
possession of the battlefield for weeks. The Confederates were 
as much siuprised as the Federals themselves at their sudden 
victory, and there was little pursuit. Sherman, who commanded 
a brigade in the Federal Anny, said, '' It was one of the best 
planned battles in the war, but one of the worst fought " ; while 
Johnston declared, " If the tactics of the Federals had been equal 
to their strategy we should have been beaten/' 
HumilUtion The victory of Bull Run produced a feeling of wild excite* 
Sf.^* ment in the South, and helped to cherish the confidence that it 

would eventually lead to independence. On the other hand, 
it was a bitter disappointment and profoimd humiUation to the 
North. Lincoln and Congress had not expected anything of the 
kind. Scott, their general, had confidently looked forward ta 
victory. Indeed, the result would have been different if Patterson 
had succeeded in holding back Johnston at Winchester. Several 
members of Congress had gone to the front, to be present at the 
battle, and one of them was taken prisoner and kept for several 
months in confinement at Richmond. But in spite of the sense 
of chagrin the defeat at Bull Run had the effect of deepening 
the zeal, courage and determination of the Government, Congress,, 
the army, and the nation at large. 




General McClellan was now summoned to Washington, owing The irmy 
to the retirement of Scott through age and infirmity, and in a •^ *^* 
short time formed what was afterwards known as the Army of ™*** 
the Potomac out of the new regiments of three-year volimteers 
who were passing into the capital. McClellan had gained a 
brilliant success in West Viiginia, having captured seven gims, 
the greater part of the camp equipment and baggage of the 
Confederates, together with nearly i,ooo men, his own loss having 
been under fifty. His arrival at Washington roused warm enthu- 
siasm. He had in his favour youth, industry, and a winning 
personality. He wrote, ''By some strange operation of magic 
I seem to have become the power of the land. They give me my 
way in everj^hing, full swing, and unbounded ccmfidence." 
Unfortunately this too sympathetic treatment engendered an 
exaggerated self-esteem which did not escape the notice of 
Lincoln ; but, for the moment, his countr3nnen regarded him as 
a young Napoleon. He succeeded Scott as Commander-in-Chief, 
and thus had control over all the forces of the Union, with an 
army of nearly 125,000 effective soldiers under his personal com- 
mand, thoroughly organised, drilled, and armed. 

The popular hero, however, remained in irritating inactivity. iMiMtar ©f 
The only serious force opposed to him was the Confederate army ^•**'' ^^^" 
of less than 50,000 men, under Johnston, who had planned several 
offensive movements, but had not been able to carry them out 
for want of troops. Although McClellan was superior to the 
enemy immediately in front of him by three to one, the best season 
for operations was allowed to pass away. At the end of October, 
1861, he determined to send a strong reconnaissance to Leesbuig, 
to gain the position of the enemy and cross the Potomac into 
Maryland. The expedition ended in complete disaster. The 
Federal troops gave way before their opponents, broke, and ran 
towards the river, swarmed down the steep bluff, piu^ued by the 
Confederates, who shot and bayoneted them as they ran. They 
crowded along the bank of the river, throwing away arms, 
accoutrements, and clothing ; indeed, nearly half the force engaged 
was either killed or captured. 

Such was the disaster of Ball's Bluff, and it had an exasperat- 
ing effect on pubUc opinion. When Congress met in December, 
it created a Joint War Committee of the two Houses, which played 
an important part throughout the whole war by its examination 
into and criticism of military affairs. In the meantime, the 
Confederates established batteries on the Virginian side of the 
Potomac, thus creating an almost complete blockade of the river. 



with the 

The Trent 

Ivea of the 

Finally, McCIellan's army went into winter quarters, and the 
general himself fell ill. In January, 1862, Lincoln said that if 
something were not done soon the bottom would be out of the 
whole affair, and that if General McClellan did not want to use 
the army he would like to borrow it, provided he could see how it 
could be made to do something. 

At this time an event occurred which, while it relieved the 
tension in the North, threatened to disturb the peaceful relations 
with Great Britain. When the war broke out Great Britain 
determined to take up a position of strict neutraUty, and recog- 
nised the Southern States as belligerent. The popular feeling in 
Great Britain probably favoured the South, although the more 
intellectual and more cultivated part of the nation espoused the 
cause of the North. This support of the Confederates was partly 
due to the fact that the blodkade of the Southern ports deprived 
Lancashire of the cotton which was the foundation of its prosperity. 

The Federals were natiurally annoyed at this attitude. Know- 
ing the passionate hatred which Great Britain had always shown 
towards slavery, and the sacrifices she had made for the extermina- 
tion of the trade in slaves and for the abolition of slavery 
in her colonies, they thought that she would take the side of 
those who were contending against slavery, and would not have 
recognised a slave-holding power as belligerent. The North 
naturally complained that this action had converted civil into 
international war. Towards the close of 1861, Captain Wilkes, 
an officer of the United States Navy, stopped a Royal Mail 
steamer, called the Trent, on her voyage from Havana to 
England, and arrested two Southerners, Mason and Slidell, who 
were on their way to represent the Confederate States at London 
and Paris. The Cabinet at once decided that this insult to the 
British flag must be made good, and sent a large expedition to 
Canada. There was considerable danger of a war, which, how- 
ever, was averted by moderation on both sides of the Atlantic. 
In England, at a Privy Council, held at Windsor just before his 
death, the Prince Consort suggested a modification of a dispatch, 
by the insertion in it of the belief that the action of Captain Wilkes 
had neither been directed, nor approved of, by his Government, 
and in this view Lincoln had the wisdom to acquiesce. 

Before we proceed to narrate the further events of the war, it 
will be well to give a sketch of the geographical areas in which the 
principal struggles took place. For this purpose we may divide 
the territory of the United States into three great sections, the 
first extending from the eastern coast to the All^hany Moimtains, 



the second from these mountains to the Mississippi, and the third 
from the Mississippi to the western coast. But besides the battles 
fought in these r^ons, a most important incident in the war was 
the strict blockade of the eastern coast, which extended from 
Chesapeake Bay to the mouth of the Rio Grande, on the western 
shore of the Gulf of Mexico. This not only prevented foreign 
ships from landing arms or mimitions of war for the South, but 
also prevented Confederate vessels from carrying cotton for sale 
to Europe. It had a serious effect on the social and political life 
of the South, which was deprived of the enjoyment of foreign 
products and lost its credit in the world. 

Of the three geographical sections mentioned, the first was Btuht^if 
the most important. The two capitals of the belligerent Powers the MJm- 
were Washington on the Potomac and Richmond on the James ^U^ ^^ 
River in Virginia, only 115 miles from each other. It was the 
business of the Federals to defend the one and capture the other, 
their efforts to effect the latter object leading to the most impor- 
tant battles of the war, the action of the Federals, in consequence 
of their superior numbers, being almost always aggressive. 

The determining influence in the other two sections was the ThaStranto 
Mississippi, which divided them. On this river were situated 'o' Control 
the two great commercial cities of the west — St. Louis, which jfj^J^ 
belonged to the Federals, and New Orleans, which beloxiged to 
the Confederates. There was, therefore, a constant struggle for 
the possession of the Mississippi. The Confederates, who had the 
advantage of possession, did their best to fortify the waterway at 
the best available points ; but the Federals had the advantage 
that the State of Illinois, which was part of their territory, 
reached down between the Ohio and the Mississippi to their 
junction at Cairo, which was farther south than any other part 
of the Northern dominions. Moreover, the Northern States in 
this r^on were especially populous and eneigetic. It follows, 
therefore, that the operations of the war after 1861 were devoted 
to three main objects — ^the maintenance of the blockade, the 
capture of Richmond, and the conquest of the Mississippi. 

In our narrative we shall pursue mainly a chronological order •«tiio 
and begin with the events which led to the Battle of Shiloh. The Olbraltar^of 
command in the west was now held by Halleck, who had succeeded ***• ^^'^ 
Fremont. He had been ordered by McClellan to concentrate the 
mass of the troops on or near the Mississippi, in order to under- 
take operations from Cairo to the Gulf of Mexico. From Cairo 
to the sea the Mississippi pursues a winding course of nearly 1,100 
miles, in which it only faUs 322 feet. It flows through an alluvial 



VfUkiy mdtyml on each nide by bluffs or hills, which approach the 
rivfir only at a few points, and therefore alfiord only occasional 
opporttinitirN for fortification. In order to capture the upper 
ruachm of thr rivrr, the Confederates had advanced into Kentucky 
to Miixr and fortify the Heights of Columbus, twenty miles below 
(!uiro, which they did so effectually that it became known as *' the 
(fibraltur of the West." Buell commanded in Kentucky, but did 
not urt on with Halleck. On January 7th, 1862, Lincoln was 
oblifird to interfere, and sent an identical despatch to both, order- 
inK thrm to act together and to name a day when they would 
br ablr to nmn*h southwards in concert, as delay was ruining the 
rauAo and it was indispensable to secure definite results. 

OlHMil*! On the prvvlouH day Halleck had ordered Ulysses S. Grant, a 

suhortlinatr general, posted at Cairo, to make a demonstration 
with land forces and gxmboats against Columbus, and also to 
rxanilne Vort Henry on the Tennessee and Fort Donelson on the 
C\uuherland Kiver, Observation convinced Grant that it was 
poimitUe to break through the Confederate lines on ttie Tennessee. 
After i^htaining permission with difficulty, be captured Fort 
Henry after an hour's bombardment on February 6th, and 
assaulted b\vt IXoielson on February isth. Next monmig 
Muckner, who was in command, proposed an armistice to 
amu^ lenu^ \vf capitulation* To this Grant replied. ** No tcnns 
otiier than an unctTwIitioQal and inunediate sur ren d er can be 
acvtif^eit 1 pi\^>^ to move immediately on your wwks.'^ 
RxKkner at \>nce ^urrMKkred the fort with its garrison of 14,000 
men. Thb ktt u^ the evacuation vxf Cotumbus. 

t%*__ In Maivh th<w Iviok place the fight between the Momitor and 

the M#»*«nMc. IV Utter VY:$s$el was leally a steamtt' that had 
been »wak at N\>rMk and been raised bv tlie Confedentesw «iK> 
Im4 traNsJcvmed it intv^ an irvticlML Tlie If e«ter was ahofctfacr 
»\^Y^ ia di!>tj%iit Soutkeni odkers descxihasg her as '^ a tB can en 
a ftitilv'' >ikVn %liting slie $bow^ nockaoig aK^ve mater bnt a kv 
kulL >mK |«v^^f>cted by artaoor. a cscnbr tnnet pbted wick iron 
avikt s^rnrts^ twv^ Imvy sa^octk-NYe $x2jfe$. and a kw o 
ts^^MNT at tf\>nt--<^ svor^e. a viu^pRVHss^ ty^ in an cfien 
Af <> ■ wma.^ kai xnet hdkd aesi :«» safeoctk-H^re goai^ cc keavr caGbre. 
Sbie Wi att4ic)M\i Oif NxYtiiefia dhwt and dene cnsKkcabfe dmsKe 
ts^ tW wv\>)im v^K^fek^ : Ntt en >Urc& v;cii Akt cice«r wqs edfecc»- 
JilKe sS^^4i:<Nt >v tb>f M^mit^ TV «iwi a&eil wk imaKssvv : 
ViK tiW r^tftibec de:>9*^X)Cft ct tV iiset WK^ sccomI ^hi^ 

■)^Mtl»r »r«MkJ(n^ » l>K«nfi«r wIC&l :^ ki» «it seme >:t 


but she had done her work by preventing the breaking of the 
bkxkade. The battk is important in histcny as the first action 
fought between armoured steamships. 

Two days later, on March nth, Lincohi issued his War OfiGice MeCleUaa 
Order No. 9, relieving McClellan from the command, entrusting BnpenMM. 
him with the campaign against Richmond, and forming the 
Department of the Mississippi, which was placed \mder Halleck. 
The latter now undertook an expedition into Tennessee, which 
led to the Battle of Shiloh, one of the bloodiest of the war, called 
after a little log church in the south^-west of that State. The 
Confederate general, Albert S. Johnston, was at this time 
posted at Corinth with a large force. This place, situated 
in Northern Mississippi, had been fortified as a position of great 
importance, being the point where the Memphis and Charleston 
Railway is crossed by the Mobile and Ohio Railway. 

Grant moved forward to attack Corinth, with 40,000 men, erantft 
expecting to be joined by a similar force from Nashville. On ?*T\^* 
April 6th he had reached Pittsburg Landing, on the west bank 
of the broad Tennessee river, about twenty miles north of Corinth. 
One portion of his army was at Crump's Landing, about five 
miles to the north, and the force expected from Nashville had 
just reached the shore of this river opposite to the landing. All 
Grant's troops were comparatively raw, two divisions having never 
been imder fire. They possessed courage enough, but had not 
learnt the necessity of precaution. They were so intent upon an 
advance that they had made no preparations for defence. Sherman 
wrote, " At a later period of the war we should have made this 
position impregnable in one night." On the morning of Sunday, 
April 6th, they were suddenly attacked by 40,000 troops under 
Johnston, who had, during the last two days, marched from 
Corinth. The battle lasted the whole day, and the field was hotly 
contested; but, on the whole, the Confederates steadily gained 
ground. One Federal divisicm was captured, but Johnston him- 
self was killed. When the battle ended the Federal line had been 
driven back two miles. Grant said of the battlefield, " It was so 
covered with dead that it would have been possible to walk across 
the clearing in any direction, stepping on dead bodies, without a 
foot touching the ground." On one side of it Federal and Con- 
federate troops were mingled together in nearly equal proportions, 
but on the rest of the field nearly aU were Confederates. 

During the night the Nashville contingent, commanded by 
BueU, crossed the river, and at daylight Grant renewed the attack. 
Beauregard, who had replaced Johnston, must have known that 



resistance was hopeless, but did his best to hold the road which 
passes by Shiloh Church in order to secure his retreat. Sherman 
advanced and recaptured his camp, which had been taken on the 
previous day, and around Shiloh Church the battle raged with the 
greatest fury. At last Beaur^ard withdrew, leaving his dead 
on the field, and there was no attempt at pursuit. In the battle 
Sherman, commanding a division, especially distinguished him- 
self. The losses were large : the number of killed and wounded 
was about the same on either side, the Federal loss being, if any- 
thing, the heavier, while they also had 2,000 more men missing 
than the Confederates. After the battle HaUeck laid siege to 
Corinth, which was defended by Beauregard and not evacuated 
till May agtk. By some authorities the Battle of Shiloh has been 
thought to 'be the turning point of the war, as it opened for the 
Federals the way to the sea, and an army could not be prevented 
now from marching to the rear of the Confederates and cutting 
off the suppUes of the troops who held Richmond, thus compelling 
their siuxender. The loss of Johnston was very serious; had 
he survived he might have turned the fortune of the war. 
Gapture of Nor was Shiloh the sole success of the Federals at this period, 

MawOrlMiii. j^j. A^jjnirgj Farragut succeeded in capturing New Orleans, by 

far the largest and most influential city in the Confederacy, and 
a point of the highest strat^cal importance. Farragut was a 
Southerner by birth, but from conscientious reasons had taken 
the side of the North. He opened the bombardment from his 
fleet on April i8th, and continued it for six days and nights. Six 
thousand shells fell in and near the forts, St. PhiUp and Jackson, 
which, garrisoned by 1,500 Confederate soldiers, defended the 
city towards the sea. A shell fell about every minute and a half, 
but the forts were not rendered untenable, nor their guns silenced, 
although more than fifty of the defenders were killed and wounded. 
In the meantime the Confederates had prepared fireships, flat- 
bottomed boats loaded with dry wood and turpentine, which 
they lighted and sent down the stream. Farragut, however, 
intercepted them and disposed of them without suffering damage. 
He now formed the plan of running by the forts, destroying 
and capturing the Confederate fleet and bringing the city within 
range of his gims. He started on April 24th, just before sunrise, 
an opening being made in the chain which closed the harbour to 
let him through. Three of the ships in the rear failed to make the 
passage, but those that got through began at once to destroy the 
enemy's flotilla and then pushed on and took possession of New 
Orleans. The two forts, being isolated, surrendered to Farragut^ 



as he expected, on April 28th. The victory was one of first-rate 
consequence politically, as we are told by the envoy of the South 
in Paris that if New Orleans had not fallen the recognition of the 
Confederacy by France could not have been much longer delayed. 
This great feat, which sets the name of Farragut beside that of 
Grant, was accomplished with a loss to the fleet of only 37 killed, 
147 wounded, and one small ship ranuned and sunk. 

We must now consider the operations against Richmond. On MeCieiiui^t 
March 13th, 1862, it had been determined to attack the city by FaUuM to 
way of Fort Monroe. This plan was accepted by Lincoln on 5?^ ^ 
condition that Manassas were permanently occupied and the 
city of Washington made perfectly secure. The forces went 
down the Potomac in boats, and on April 5th there were concen- 
trated at Monroe 121,500 men, with arsenals, wagons, batteries, 
pontoon bridges, and other requisites. McClellan arrived there 
on April 2nd, with the intention of leading the army up the 
peninsula between the York and James rivers. Had he moved at 
once he might possibly have taken Richmond without difficulty, 
but circumstances caused delay. On April 4th he marched with 
50,000 men against Yorktown, which was defended by a compara- 
tively small force. McClellan, instead of storming the place, laid 
r^^ular siege to it, and on May 3rd, when he was ready to open 
the bombardment, Joseph Johnston, who was in command, stole 
away, leaving dummy gims in the embrasures. Johnston said 
that this delay not only saved Richmond, but gave the Con- 
federates time to convert a handful of troops into an army. On 
May 5th McClellan fought another battle at Williamsburg, twelve 
miles distant. Both sides claimed the victory, but the loss of 
the Federals was greater than that of the Confederates, who 
retired without hindrance. 

The Confederate army now went into camp about three miles Lee Takes 
from Richmond, and McClellan, advancing, placed his forces as Command of 
a line about thirteen miles in length on the left bank of the ***• South. 
Chickahominy. On May 31st he commanded 127,000 men ; and 
Johnston, who opposed him, only 62,000. However, a violent 
storm gave the Confederates an opportunity of attacking a portion 
of the Federal army which was separated from the rest by water ; 
but the ensuing battle at Fair Oaks was without decisive results, 
the Federals losing 5,000 and the Confederates 6,000 men. Late 
in the evening Johnston was seriously woimded, and his place 
as conunander of the armies around Richmond was taken by 
Robert £. Lee in June, 1862. Lee was a Virginian, and had been 
marked out by Scott as a possible commander of the Federal 



Lee Drives 

The Battle 
of Gaines 

anny ; but on April 20th, 1861, he tendered his resignation and 
was placed in command of the Virginian troops who were fighting 
for the South. In course of time he became General-in-Chief of 
the Confederate armies. His ablest lieutenant was " Stonewall " 
Jackson, so called from an incident in the battle of Bull Run, 
where General Bee, of South Carolina, who was kiUed later in 
the day, rallied his wavering men by appealing to them to follow 
the example of Jackson's brigade, standing there " like a stone 
wall." Lee repeated^ astonished his adversaries by his marvelkms 
rapidity and his appearances in unexpected places. 

The beautiful valley of the Shenandoah, which Ues between 
the Blue Mountains and the Alleghany Mountains, was favourable 
to an army threatening Washington, and imfavourable to one 
attacking Richmond ; for the Confederates, as they marched 
down the valley, came at every step nearer to the Federal capital, 
whereas a Federal army marching up the valley was gradualty 
carried farther and farther from Richmond. In the vall^ 
McDowell was opposed to Jackson, and there was a chance of 
Jackson being overwhelmed, but he contrived to escape and 
joined Lee at Richmcmd. Lee was making preparations for driving 
McClellan from the peninsula, and wrote to Jackson that unless 
McCleUan could be driven out of his entrenchments he could 
come so near to Richmond that he would be able to bombard it. 
Pains were taken to conceal from the Federals the fact that 
Jackson's army was to join Lee's. The result of Lee's arrange- 
ments was the seven days' battle, which lasted from June 25th to 
Jiily ist, and ended in the retreat of McClellan from Richmond. As 
a preliminary, Lee, leaving about 30,000 men to defend Richmond, 
crossed the Chickahominy with 35,000, intending to join Jackson, 
who had 25,000, and with this overwhelming force suddenly attack 
the 20,000 men who were posted on the north side of the river, 
and, after destroying them, ere reinforcements could come up, 
capture McClellan's base. Jackson, for once in his life, was late, 
3o that the plan failed, Lee losing 3,000 men. 

Next day followed the Battle of Gaines Mills, also called the 
Battle of Chickahominy, or the first Battle of Cold Harbour, in 
which the Federal line was broken. After Jackson's arrival on 
the field, two Federal regiments were made prisoners and two 
gims were taken. McClellan now changed his base from the 
Chickahominy to the James River, where he was attacked by 
Magruder, who had been left behind at Richmond. The attack 
failed and the Federals were able to defend the road which led 
through White Oak Swamp. Jackson now crossed the Chicka- 



hominy, and attempted to follow McClellan's rearguard through 
White Oak Swamp, but was unable to do so. HiU and Longstreet, 
however, had crossed the river, farther up the stream, and marched 
round the swamp, striking the retreating army near Charles City 
Cross Roads on June 30th. There was terrific fighting all the 
afternoon, but the Federal army held their ground. MacCall, 
however, was captured and carried of! to Richmond. Dark* 
ness put an end to the fighting, and McCkUan retreated to 
Malvern Hill, having lost two guns and suffered severely in 
other ways. 

The last battle of the series was fought at Malvern Hill, where Battle at 
McClellan made his final stand. It is a plateau on the side of ^^^"^ 
the James, about 80 feet high, a mile and a half long, and a mile 
broad, and can only be approached by the north-western face. 
McCleUan's army was arranged in a semicircle, with the right 
wing thrown back so as to reach Harrison's Landing on the James. 
His position was strongly defended by artiUery. Lee was not 
able to make the assault till July ist. The battle began by an 
artillery duel, which was not very effective on the Confederate side. 
The infantry attack was made with too fittle regard for concentra* 
tion, and, although fighting continued till 3 p.m., the line was 
never shaken nor were the guns in danger. The battle had cost 
Lee 5,000 men, and he desisted from the pursuit of the Northern 
army. McClellan retired during the night to Harrison's Landing, 
wh^re he was protected by gunboats and had collected his supplies. 
The losses during the seven days' fighting were estimated at 15,000 
on the Federal and over 19,000 on the Confederate side. 

Lincoln now saw that nothing substantial could be effected Haileek 
unless the Northern army were very considerably increased, and i^?f^*** 
he appealed to the Governors of the States for 300,000 volunteers, commander- 
He also issued an order on July nth constituting Halleck in-Chief. 
Commander-in-Chief of the land forces. The Army of the 
Potomac was withdrawn from Harrison's Landing and united 
with the Army of Virginia imder Pope ; while Lee, relieved from 
all fears about the safety of Richmond, assumed the offensive 
and marched against Pope. 

From July nth to November 7th numerous engagements 
took place between the two forces, one side eager to reach 
Richmond, the other Washington. Generally the advantage 
was with the Confederates, who had superior skill and dash but 
inferior numbers, yet Washington was never really in danger, 
and on several occasions greater energy on the part of the Federals 
might have achieved the entire defeat of the South. 


Battle of 


McClellan's conduct of this campaign has been much discussed. 
Biiultiin. ^^ ^ alleged that he was dilatory, and that he overrated the 
strength of his adversaries and underrated his own, and later 
information seems to have strengthened the case against him. 
But it must be remembered that the Southern troops were, in the 
first place, more fit for war than the Northern. The position, 
indeed, resembled that of the Cavaliers and the Puritans in the 
Civil War in England. The South were mainly gentlemen, *' men 
of a spirit," to use the expression of Cromwell, whereas the North 
needed much training and consolidation to bring them up to their 
level McClellan's hesitation and delay may therefore have been 
justified ; but Lincoln, having borne long with him and shown 
tenderness and patience towards him, at last gave way and put 
Bumside in his place. Nevertheless, whatever changes were 
made in the personnel of command, many engagements had to be 
fought — ^long, stubborn and bloody— ere the miserable struggle 
reached its end. One of the most important of them was the 
Second Battle of Bull Rtm. In the middle of August, 1862, Lee 
and Jackson had together a force of 70,000 men, whereas Pope, 
having only 50,000, retired beyond the Rappahannock. On 
August 25th, Jackson, with 18,000 men, moved up the Rappa- 
hannock and completed a circle round Pope's right. He then 
passed over the Bull Run Mountains and destroyed a railway 
station in the rear of the Federals. Pope marched against him 
and Jackson retired to Manassas Junction, where he took a 
number of prisoners and destroyed a quantity of commissariat 
stores. Pope, being reinforced by some of McClellan's army, sent 
McDowell, with 40,000 men, to intercept Lee, who was marching 
to join Jackson, and himself advanced against Jackson. This 
gave Lee the opportimity of meeting Jackson, which McDowell 
had been powerless to prevent. The consequence was that, on 
August 30th, Lee was able to attack Pope and inflict a severe 
defeat upon him, causing him heavy loss. After this' battle Pope's 
army crossed the Bull Run at Stone Bridge and encamped upon 
the heights round Centreville, but afterwards fell back still farther 
and occupied Fairfax Court House and Germantown. Lee now 
attempted to cut Pope off from Washington, and the latter was 
forced to withdraw to the fortifications of Washington, where his 
army became merged in that of the Potomac. Lee claimed that in 
these operations he had captured 9,000 prisoners and 30 guns, and 
Pope's killed and wounded could not have fallen short of 10,000 men. 
Lee now crossed the Potomac and marched into Maryland, 
by way of Leesburg and Frederick, issuing a proclamation to the 



inhabitants to join the Confederacy ; but the appeal was with- 
out result, as all Marylanders who intended to join the South had 
already done so. He also hoped he might gain a decisive battle 
over McClellan, advance into Pennsylvania, occupy Philadelphia, 
and dictate peace in Independence Hall. McClellan arrived at 
Frederick on September 12th, two days after Lee had left it. 
Here he found a sketch of the campaign which Lee had drawn up, 
from which he learned that Lee had divided his forces, leaving 
some in Maryland and sending others across the Potomac to 
capture Harper's Ferry, which was effected by Jackson. Eleven 
thousand men were taken in the capitulation, with 73 guns and 
much camp equipage. 

The Battle of Antietam was fought on September 17th, 1862. intleiam ( 
Lee's forces numbered 40,000 men. He occupied a strong position, J^**^"™ 
both wings resting on the Potomac and the Antietam Creek flowed ** 
in front. The creek was passable by four stone bridges and a 
ford, all, except the most northerly bridge, strongly guarded. 
McClellan determined to throw his right wing over the unguarded 
bridge, assail the Confederate left, and then force the remaining 
bridges with his left and centre. The struggle went on all day 
without any very definite results. About noon Bumside carried 
the bridge opposite to him, and attacked the Confederate right, 
taking a battery on the ridge. Lee, however, came up with fresh 
forces, drove Bumside from his position, and retook the battery. 
The Battle of Antietam was at first regarded as a Federal victory, 
and it certainly caused the Confederates heavy losses and stopped 
all ideas of invading Maryland and Pennsylvania ; but, in reality, 
it was a drawn battle, both sides having suffered equally, and 
neither being able to resume the struggle. 

Lee withdrew to Winchester, and McClellan took up his KeCieUan 
position on the Potomac. Here, at the b^poming of October, he ** ***• 
was visited by Lincoln, who urged him to cross the Potomac, "*^ 
give battle to the enemy, and drive him south. Lincoln said, 
•* Your army must move now, while the roads are good. If you 
cross the river between the enemy and Washington, and cover the 
capital with your operations, you can be reinforced with 30,000 
men." McClellan, however, remained inactive, saying that his 
army was in need of shoes and clothing. At last, on October 
26th, he did cross the Potomac, and marched southwards, on the 
eastern side of the Blue Mountains, while Lee moved parallel with 
him on the western side. But nothing decisive was done, and on 
November 7th, the President, as we have seen, relieved McClellan 
and put Bumside in his place. 




Biinsld«'i Bumside was a graduate of the West Point Academy, and had 
J*!^* at first devoted himself to civil pursuits, but had re-entered the 
army at the b^inning of the war. Besides his military training, 
he had a handsome person and winning disposition. He under- 
took the command of the Army of the Potomac reluctantly, as he 
doubted his ability to perform the duty, and it was only when uxged 
by McClellan, who was a valued friend, that he consented. Bum- 
side, after reorganising his army into three great divisions, under 
Sumner, Hooker and Franklin, aimed straight at Richmond and 
set out for that place by the north bank of the Rappahannock and 
the city of Fredericksbuiig. Lee immediately marched to cover 
the Confederate capital, and stationed his army on the heights 
south and west of Fredericksbuig, which he strongly fortified. 
His line was 5} miles long, but it was very strongly defended. 

Bumside did not succeed in crossing the Rappahannock till 
December 12th, being much impeded by Lee's fire, and next day 
proceeded to attack the heights on which the whole of the Con- 
federate army was concentrated, Longstreet being on the right and 
Jackson on the left, with every gun in position. The attack, which 
was not delivered at the right place, was a complete failure. At one 
spot the advance was made along a road with a wall on one side» 
and the Confederate army was so numerous that each man posted 
at the wall had two or three men behind him to load his muskets, 
and all he had to do was to lay them in turn upon the wall and 
fire them rapidly without exposing himself. At last nearly half 
the attacking force was shot down and the rest retired. Bumside^ 
in great wrath at his ill success, ordered Hooker to advance with 
the reserve. He reluctantly obeyed after a remonstrance, and 
lost 1,700 dead and wounded out of 4,000. After he had been 
completely defeated, Bumside was anxious to make another 
attack next day, but was dissuaded by Sumner. He recrossed 
the Rappahannock in the night of December 15th during a 
storm, and the campaign was at an end. In the attack on 
Fredericksburg the Federals had lost 12,353 men and the Con- 
federates 4,201. 
*'The Mad This defeat was so disastrous and so discreditable to Bumside's 
■aroh.** miUtary capacity that Lincoln ordered him to make no other 
move without his knowledge. However, on January 21st, 1863,. 
he started his army on what was afterwards known as " the Mud 
March," because it was cut short by a rain-storm which rendered 
the roads impassable. The soldiers blessed an intervention of 
Nature for saving them from massacre. Bumside quarrelled with 
his ofiicers and sent in his resignation, and Lincoln, seeing that 



reccmciliation was hopeless, relieved him and appointed Hooker 
in his place. 

He did this in a most characteristic letter : " I have placed How 
you at the head of the Army of the Potomac. Of course I have jj*"®^/"^- 
done this upon what appear to me sufficient reasons, and yet I looker, 
think it right for you to know that there are some things in regard 
to which I am not quite satisfied with you. I believe you to be 
a brave and skilful soldier, which, of course, I like. I ako believe 
you do not mix politics with your profession, in which you are 
right. You have confidence in yoiuself, which is a valuable, if 
not indispensable, quality. You are ambitious, which within 
reasonable bounds does rather good than harm ; but I think that 
during General Bumside's conunand of the army you have taken 
counsel of your ambition and thwarted him as much as you could, 
in which you did a great wrong to the coimtry and to a most 
meritorious and honourable brother officer. I have heard, in such 
a way as to beheve it, of your recently saying that both the army 
and the Government needed a dictator. Of course, it was not for 
this, but in spite of it, that I have given you the conunand. Only 
those generals who gain successes can set up as dictators. What 
I ask of you is military success, and I will risk the dictatorship. 
The Government will support you to the utmost of its abiUty, 
which is neither more nor less than it has done and will do for 
its commanders. I much fear that the spirit which you have 
assisted to infuse into the army, of criticising their commander 
and withholding confidence from him, wiU now turn upon you. 
I shall assist you, as far as I can, to put it down. Neither you 
nor Napoleon, if he were alive again, could get any good out of 
an army while such a spirit prevails in it. And now, beware of 
rashness. Beware of rashness. But with energy and sleepless 
vigilance go forward and give us victories." 

Hooker was not a much greater success in the field than Hookep^i 
Bumside had been. It is said he planned well but fought badly. '^••^ »* 
After spending some time in restoring the relaxed discipline of ^ju^ 
the Army of the Potomac, he opened the spring campaign with 
every prospect of success. Lee remained entrenched at Fredericks- 
buig, and Hooker, by April 30th, 1863, had collected four army 
corps at Chancellorsville, eleven mUes distant, to attack his rear. 
Lee, however, brought his troops up from Fredericksburg and 
extended them in front of Hooker. He then organised a flanking 
movement under Stonewall Jackson, which surrounded the Federal 
right and, by a furious attack, threw it into great disorder. After 
a series of battles which lasted four days Hooker was entirely 



Lee*f Kareh 

IdTloe to 

Battle of 

defeated ; but in one of the battles, which were called by the 
collective name of Chancellorsville, Stonewall Jackson was killed. 
Riding forward in front of his troops, he came between the fire 
of both sides, and was shot by accident by his own troops. He 
was carried into the hospital and his arm amputated, but he died 
within the week. 

After these successes public opinion in the South began to 
demand that Lee should invade the North, or at least threaten 
Washington. His army had been reinforced by Longstreet ; 
losses had been suppUed by a levy of conscripts, which called 
even boys of sixteen from school ; and the army had unbounded 
confidence in itself. Vicksburg, on the Mississippi, was being 
besieged by Grant, and its fall would deal a severe blow to the 
Confederacy unless it were neutralised by a victory in the east. 
There was, moreover, the hope that, if a great battle were won 
by the Confederates, they would receive recognition, if not active 
assistance, from Great Britain and France. For these reasons 
Lee b^an his northward march in the beginning of June and 
invaded Pennsylvania. 

Hooker at first thought that this would be a good oppor- 
timity for a dash at Richmond, but Lincoln disapproved of the 
plan and advised Hooker, in case he foimd Lee moving to the 
north of the Rappahannock, not to cross to the south of it. " I 
would not take any risk," he wrote, " of being entangled upon the 
river, like an ox jumped half over a fence, and liable to be torn 
by dogs front and rear without a fair chance to gore one way or 
kick the other. I think Lee's army, and not Richmond, is the 
best objective point." Hooker took the President's advice and 
b^an well, but after a time dissensions between the commanders 
broke out and Hooker asked to be relieved of his command. 
Lincoln, knowing that harmony and effective co-operation were 
of final importance, appointed Meade in his stead. 

Lee continuing his advance, a contest took place at Gettys- 
burg on July 3rd. Both armies were in full force, and both felt 
that the impending struggle would be not only of a decisive 
character, but probably determine the result of the war. The 
forces were posted on opposite elevations — the Federals on the 
Cemetery Ridge, the Confederates on the Seminary Ridge. The 
early part of the day was spent in ominous silence, and the battle 
did not b^n till i o'clock. For two hours there was a furious 
cannonade from ridge to ridge, the continuous and deafening 
roar being audible fifty miles away. The shot and shell tore 
up the ground and shattered gravestones, the fragments of 



which, flying among the troops, exploded caissons and dis- 
mounted guns. 

Lee now organised his attack and, forming 15,000 of his best "Pickett'i 
troops in long columns, moved forward to the charge. They had Chafge." 
to cross a mile of open groimd, but before they had got halfway 
over the Federal artillery ploughed through and through the 
ranks ; the gaps were filled up and the colimms did not halt. 
As they drew nearer the batteries used grape and canister, and 
some infantry poured volleys of musketry into their right flank. 
The principal attack was directed towards the now famous " clump 
of trees " in a depression in Cemetery Ridge, and it was here that 
" Pickett's Charge " was made — a brave but ill-judged onslaught 
against superior odds that resulted in fearful loss. 

The result of this battle was the entire defeat of the Con- Lae'i 
federates. Of the magnificent columns which left the Seminary ^•*»«»*» 
Ridge, only a broken fragment returned, nearly every officer, 
excepting Pickett, having been killed or woimded. Lee gave 
orders for a retreat during the night, and next day the 
Confederates retired, first to Hagerstown and then across the 
Potomac. The retreat was very pitiful, as the roads were in a 
bad condition. Few of the wounded had been properly cared 
for, and, as they were jolted along in agony, they groaned, cursed, 
babbled of their homes, and called upon their mates to put them 
out of their misery, while there was also constant apprehension 
of an attack in the rear. The loss of the Confederates was 36,000 
killed, wounded, and missing ; that of the Federals 23,000. Lee 
left 7,000 of his woimded amongst the unburied dead, and 37,000 
muskets were picked up on the field. 

On the very day of Lee's retreat, July 4th, Vicksburg, on the Attack on 
Mississippi, the largest town in the State of Mississippi, sur- Yickibnrg. 
rendered. It is situated on a high bluff, overlooking the river, 
whence it makes a sharp bend, ending in a long, narrow peninsula. 
Farragut, after he had captured New Orleans in April, 1862, went 
up the river in May and demanded its surrender, but the demand 
was refused and the town could not be captured without a land 
force. The attack was renewed at the end of 1862 by Grant and 
Sherman, but serious operations were not begun till the spring 
of 1863. 

Grant then undertook a new plan. Porter, who commanded 
the fleet, ran past the Vicksburg batteries with a number of his 
vessels, and Grant marched his army by a very circuitous route 
of seventy miles down the western bank of the river. At last he 
reached a place where he could cross, and on April 30th his army 
t 49 



Oftptnre of 

of the 

of 33,000 men reached high land on the eastern side of the 
Mississippi. Shortly after this Grant proceeded to attack the 
Confederate army, defeating it at Raymond and Jackson, the 
capital of the State, and then moved on to Vicksburg. 

On May i6th he encountered the bulk of the Confederate 
forces, 20,000 strong, under Pemberton, at Champion's Hill, about 
halfway between Jackson and Vicksburg. Here he fought the 
severest battle of the campaign, in which the Confederates were 
defeated with heavy loss. They retreated towards Vicksburg, 
the Federals in quick pursuit, and on May i8th Pemberton shut 
himself up in the town, which Grant, with a force of 30,000 men, 
invested next day, Sherman being placed on the right at Haines's 
Bluff. The line of attack was eight miles long, and there was 
danger of Grant being assailed in his rear. He, therefore, ordered 
an assault on May 22nd, but the result was disastrous, and he 
settled down to a regular siege. Thousands of shells were thrown 
into the town, the inhabitants finding refuge in caves. Provi- 
sions became scarce and mules were eaten for food. At last the 
besiegers brought their trenches so close to the defences that the 
soldiers bandied jests with each other across the narrow space. 
After forty-seven days spent in this manner, when a grand assault 
was imminent, Pemberton surrendered unconditionally with his 
army of 31,600 men, 172 guns, and 60,000 muskets. By 
the capture of Vicksburg the Mississippi was open to the 
Federals, and the forces of the Confederates were cut com- 
pletely in two. 

The dead and wounded of the Federal army at Gettysburg, as 
well as those abandoned by Liee, were himianely cared for. A 
portion of the battlefield was transformed into a National 
Cemetery, in which the fallen soldiers foimd orderly burial. It 
was dedicated for this purpose on November 19th, 1863, and 
President Lincoln delivered on this occasion an address, which 
is one of the masterpieces of literature, strongly resembling the 
famous speech of Pericles at Athens, deUvered in the Ceramicus 
on a similar occasion, which in all probability Lincoln had never 
read, or perhaps even heard of. He said : " Fourscore and seven 
years ago, our fathers brought forth in this continent a new nation, 
conceived in Liberty and dedicated to the proposition that aU 
men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, 
testing whether this nation, or any nation so conceived and so 
dedicated, can long endinre. We are now in a great battlefield 
of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as 
a last resting-place for those who have given their lives that that 



nation might live. It is altogether fit and proper that we should 
do this. 

" But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot conse- 
crate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, Hving and 
dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far beyond our poor 
power to add or detract. The world will Uttle note nor long 
remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they 
did here. It is for us, the Hving, rather to be dedicated here to* 
this imperishable work which they who fought here have thus far 
so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be dedicated to this 
grand task remaining before us, that from these honoured dead 
we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the 
last full measure of devotion, that we shall highly resolve that 
these dead shall not have died in vain ; that this nation, under 
God, shall have a new birth of freedom ; and that government of 
the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from 
the earth." 

The vicissitudes of the war now carry us into another region. Fl^t foF 
Chattanooga is in Tennessee, not far from the borders of Alabama ^>»*tt»»oo<*. 
and Georgia, and Rosecrans, opposed by the Confederate General 
Bragg, was manoeuvring to get possession of it. He succeeded 
in capturing the town, and proceeded in pursuit of Bragg. In the 
course of a week the two armies came up with each other, and 
there was fought, on September 19th and 20th, 1863, a great 
battle on the bank of Chickamauga Creek, one of the most murder- 
ous of the war, Bragg having 71,500 men and Rosecrans 57,000. 
Bragg took the offensive, and his plan was to make a feigned 
attack on the Federal right, while he directed his main strength 
towards the left, with the intention of crushing it and seizing the 
roads which led to Chattanooga. 

On the first day the battle began at 10 a.m. and lasted until Battle of 
the evening. The projected attack on the left failed, and, although ^***®^" 
the Federal positions were for a time forced back, they were creek. 
resumed before night, and at the end of the day's fighting the 
situation was imchanged. The night was spent by both sides 
in preparing for a renewal of the struggle on the morrow, Bragg's 
design being to carry out the plan of the day before ; but the 
fighting did not begin imtil the day was well advanced and the 
Confederates could make no permanent impression. However, 
through a mistake or a misimderstanding of orders, a gap of 
two brigades was made in Rosecrans's hne. The Confederates 
discovered this gap, and poured through it with an energy 
before which the whole Federal right and part of the centre 




crumbled away and were dispersed in flight towards Chatta- 
Boek Rosecrans retired, under the impression that the day was 
hopelessly lost, and, on reaching Chattanooga, telegraphed the 
disaster to Washington. He was, however, mistaken. Thomas, 
who commanded the centre, had, in the manoeuvring, been sent 
to the extreme left, where he found a strong position on the head 
of a ridge, around which he posted his own command of seven 
divisions in a flattened semicircle, and thus formed a nucleus for 
all the reserves who had not been imder fire, with such portions 
of the brigades and regiments as had not been wholly destroyed 
by the defeat on the right. In this manner he got together about 
half of what remained of Rosecrans's force and held his position 
against Bragg's army, flushed as it was with victory. Bragg 
repeated his assaults throughout the whole of the day, but could 
not shake the lines or the courage of Thomas, who received the 
name of the " Rock of Chattanoc^a " from his devoted troops. 
At night Thomas began his retreat, and continued it without 
opposition, so that, on the morning of September 22nd, the Federal 
army was protected by the fortifications of Chattanooga, which 
had not been destroyed by Bragg when he evacuated it. The 
losses were very severe, those of the Federals being 16,179 men, 
those of the Confederates 17,804. 
OMuitTaket The army of Rosecrans was not destroyed, but it was still in 
Gommaiid. danger, as Bragg's army was blockading it with greatly superior 
numbers. The Confederates were able to cut off Rosecrans's 
supplies, both by rail and river, so that he depended upon a 
difficult road sixty miles long. Provisions and forage were soon 
exhausted, horses and mules perished by thousands, and the 
garrison began to feel the effects of famine. By October 19th, a 
month after Chickamauga, the situation had become so strained 
that Rosecrans was relieved and Thomas put in his place, while 
Grant was given the command of the three departments in the 
West and ordered personally to Chattanooga, where he arrived 
on October 22nd. With the help of his chief engineer, Smith, 
Grant arranged for a better system of supply, and, when reinforce- 
ments arrived under Hooker and Sherman, the Federals were 
superior in mmibers and the Confederates were obliged to act on 
the defensive. 
Battle of Eventually the great Battle of Chattanooga took place on 

Ohatta- November 24th-25th, 1863, one of the most important of the 
»oog». ^gj.^ jj^ order to understand it, it is necessary to give some 

accoimt of the groimd. The valleys of the Chickamauga and the 



Chattanooga are parallel to each other, and also to the general 
course of the Tennessee River. They are divided by Missionary 
Ridge, fourteen miles long and 500 feet high, ending in Lookout 
Moimtain, over 1,000 feet in height. This mountain is three miles 
south of Chattanooga, and on the other side of it is Lookout 
Valley, watered by Lookout Creek. Grant had imder him about 
100,000 effective soldiers, under the commands of Thomas, Hooker 
and Sherman. Thomas was in Chattanooga, Hooker in Lookout 
Valley, and Sherman in the hills on the other side of the 

On the morning of November 24th Sherman crossed the CaptoFe of 
Tennessee, three miles north of Chattanooga, and attacked the ^^^^J*!^ 
northern end of Missionary Ridge, with the intention of moving 
southwards along the top of it, to take the entrenchments of 
the enemy in flank. But his progress was barred by a deep 
depression, of the existence of which he was unaware, and he was 
obliged to stop and entrench himself. On the following day he 
endeavoured to carry out his plan, but made Uttle headway. In 
the meantime. Hooker, from Lookout Valley, had crossed Lookout 
Creek and climbed Lookout Mountain. He drove the Con- 
federates into Chattanooga Valley and planted the Federal flag on 
the top of the mountain amid the cheers of the whole army. 

Grant was watching the operations from the top of Orchard Fedofata* 
Knob, and in the afternoon of November 25th ordered Thomas "** *"•**• 
to advance along the western base of Missionary Ridge. His 
army, starting with alacrity, formed a Une a mile in length with 
such order as if they were going on parade. They found in front 
of them a steep and rocky ridge, defended by thirty cannon and 
two lines of rifle pits. However, they dashed forward and, with- 
out command, to the dismay of Grant, viewing them from his 
point of vantage, stormed the hill. Fighting in small parties, 
clambering up the rocks and over the fallen timber, undeterred 
by the rifle-pits, they drove the enemy steadily before them, imtil, 
after an hour's fighting, they reached the summit of the crest 
and captured the batteries. Bragg, Breckinridge, and other 
Confederate generals were amazed and nearly captured. The loss 
of the Federals was terrible, but they had performed one of the 
finest exploits recorded in military history. They next descended 
into Chickamauga Valley and captured another ridge which 
was defended by eight Confederate guns. On November 26th 
Bragg's army was in full retreat, defeated and demoralised. The 
Federals pursued them, taking 6,000 prisoners, 46 guns, and 7,000 
stand of small arms. They had, however, lost 5,824 men and the 




The Wilder- 

of the 

Confederates 6,687. After the battle Grant sent Sherman to 
relieve Bumside, who was being besieged by Longstreet at 
Kingsville, eighty-four miles distant. But before he reached the 
place Longstreet had been driven back and forced to take refuge 
with Bragg's retreating army. 

In February, 1864, a new complexion was given to the war, 
when Grant was placed in command of all the Federal armies, with 
the title of Lieutenant-General, imder the supreme command of 
the President, a position which had previously been held only 
by Washington and Scott. Grant took up his headquarters with 
the Army of the Potomac, which he considered as his centre. He 
placed Butler in command of the Army of the James River on his 
left wing, and the Western armies under Sherman as his right 
wing, Banks's army in Louisiana being designed to act against 
the Confederates in the rear. Grant intended that all the armies 
should move simultaneously — ^Butler to Petersbinrg to cut off the 
conununications of Richmond with the south ; Sherman against 
Johnston's army in Georgia, with the view of capturing Atlanta ; 
Banks to take Mobile and to close its harbour to blockade runners. 
Sigel was to drive back the Confederates from the Shenandoah 
Valley, and the Army of the Potomac was to follow Lee and fight 
him whenever it had an opportunity. The principal scenes of 
conflict were now laid in the Wilderness, a district of about ten or 
fifteen miles square, south of the Rapidan. It had formerly been 
the site of numerous ironworks, mines having been opened to 
dig the ore and the woods cut down to supply fuel for smelting. 
After the mines were abandoned a tangled growth of underwood 
grew up, and the whole region was deserted, except for a few open 
spots and a few roadside taverns. 

In the east the armies lay opposite to each other, north and 
south of the Rapidan, near Fredericksburg, a Uttle south of the 
ground on which the first Battle of Bull Run had been fought 
nearly three years before. On April 30th, 1864, Grant's army 
numbered 122,146 men, veterans thoroughly well armed and 
equipped. Lee's army was estimated by Grant at 80,000. Lee 
had the advantage of conducting a defensive campaign upon 
interior lines, among a population every man of which was on his 
side. Grant crossed the Rapidan on May 4th, and by the evening 
of next day his whole army, including a train of 4,000 wagons, 
was across the stream. Through the forest of the Wilderness two 
roads run north and south, which are crossed by two other roads 
nmning east and west — ^the Orange Turnpike and the Orange 
Plank Road. There are also numerous cross-roads and wood- 



paths. Grant slept on May 4th at a Wilderness tavern, situated 
at the junction of the Germania Plank Road and the Orange Plank 

As Lee had not disputed the passage of the Rapidan, Grant 1 Drawn 
debated whether he would fight in the Wilderness at all. How- ^O^t 
ever, on the morning of May 5th Grant found himself attacked, 
and it was obvious that Lee designed to send his whole army 
down the two parallel roads and fight Grant on this difficult 
ground. Grant recalled Hancock's corps from the front and 
hurried up Bumside from the rear. The battle inevitably 
assumed the character of a hand-to-hand engagement, and when 
night fell no decisive advantage had been gained by either side. 
Lee had succeeded better on the left than on the right, and Long- 
street's command had not arrived in time to take part in the 
engagement. The night was spent in cutting down trees, collect- 
ing logs for breastworks, and digging trencheSr On the following 
day Hancock attacked the Confederates ; but, Longstreet coming 
up, he was compelled to retire. Longstreet, however, had to 
leave the field through a similar accident to that which had 
happened to Jackson a year before. As he was riding through 
the trees, some of his own men mistook the party for Federal 
troops and fired upon them, and he was wounded in the head and 
neck. The conflict continued all day with no very definite results, 
the losses on each side being not fewer than 15,000 men. 

On May 7th Grant moved his army forwards to Spotsylvania, OFanVs 
wishing to place it between Lee and the capital. The court- *»»»ol* »* 
house of Spotsylvania is about fifteen miles south-east of the gJJ^mji^^ 
ground on which the Battle of the Wilderness was fought, and 
some twelve miles south-west of Fredericksburg. On the morn- 
ing of Sunday, May 8th, the Federal cavalry reached the court- 
house, but discovered that the Confederates had arrived first and 
had posted themselves on very favourable groimd, l3dng in an 
irregular semicircle about three miles across, with a salient 
jutting out towards the north, nearly a mile long and about half 
a mile wide. With his wonted diligence Lee had formed a vstst 
fortified camp of great strength. This was attacked by Grant 
on May loth, but he suffered a defeat. He wrote, however, to 
Washington that after six days' very hard fighting and heavy 
losses the result had been on the whole favourable to the Federals, 
and he added, " I purpose to fight it out on this line, if it takes 
all summer." He made another assault on May 12th in very 
wet weather, a fierce struggle taking place for the possession of 
the salient, known afterwards as the " Bloody Angle." Eventu- 




Ghedk at 



ally the Federals succeeded in capturing the salient, together 
with 3,000 prisoners and 20 guns. But they were still not able 
to attack Lee's line in front. Grant continued to advance south- 
wards, but Lee was always before him, seizing favourable points 
for defence and blocking his pathway. The two antagonists were 
equally matched, and the strategy of both was of the highest merit. 

On May 8th Grant dispatched Sheridan with his cavalry to 
ride roimd the Confederate army, to tear up railways, destroy 
bridges and depots, and capture trains. He succeeded in 
demolishing ten miles of railway and several trains, cutting all 
the telegraph wires, and recovering 400 Federal prisoners who 
were being taken to Richmond. The last engagement took place 
at Yellow Tavern, seven miles north of Richmond. He even 
broke into the defences of Richmond and captinred some prisoners. 
He then crossed the Chickahominy and rejoined the main army 
on May 25th. 

Grant now moved towards the North Anna River, hoping to 
engage Lee before he had time to entrench himself. For this 
purpose he sent Hancock to Richmond, on the chance that Lee 
might fall on him with his whole army, upon which Grant would 
attack him undefended by earthworks. The Confederates, how- 
ever, had the advantage of a shorter line, and saved their capitaL 
Having effected this, Lee took up a very strong position, his line 
extending from Little River, by North Anna River, to Hanover 
Junction. Bumside assailed this position, but could do nothing. 
The two armies then came face to face at Cold Harboin:, about 
eight or ten miles from Richmond, but the Federals were held 
back by the threatening position of the Confederate artillery. 
The assault was delivered at half-past four o'clock in the morning 
of Jime 3rd, and in a single hour 4,000 veterans lay dead or 
wounded under the fire of the skilfully-constructed Confederate 
batteries, raising the casualties of the first twelve days of June 
to nearly 10,000. 

Grant was obliged to report that it was the only general attack 
made from the Rapidan to the James which did not inflict upon 
the enemy losses which compensated for his own. He wrote to 
the Government after this that he had discovered in thirty days' 
experience that the enemy had determined to run no risks, but 
to act purely on the defensive, and, therefore, he could not carry 
out the plans he had formed without a greater sacrifice of Ufe 
than he felt justified in risking. Accordingly, he determined to 
cross the James River and invest Richmond from the south. He 
carried out this difficult manoeuvre with masterly skill, having to 



withdraw his army from the front of the enemy, march fifty miles, 
cross two rivers, and bring it into a new position. He accom- 
plished this design during the following week. He left Cold 
Harbour on June 12th, threw a pontoon bridge across the 
Chickahominy, by which Wilson's cavalry crossed, and reached 
the James on Jime 14th. Between afternoon and midnight on 
that day a bridge, 3,580 feet long, was laid across the James, and 
before daybreak on June 17th the whole army was on the south 
side of the stream, in immediate junction with Butler. The 
united armies of Grant and Butler amounted to 150,000 men, 
and Lee, with his 70,000, withdrew into the defences of Richmond. 
Thus an army of more than 100,000 men, with all its baggage, 
had been moved from trenches which were only a few yards from 
the enemy, and placed in a position to threaten the enemy's 
capital, without any mishap. After this feat of generalship and 
the substantial advantage gained by it, the Confederate cause 
might well seem hopeless. 

When he assmned command of the United States Army it Bhemuui's 
was part of Grant's plan that Sherman should move southwards Mam. 
from Chattanooga and capture Atlanta, thus attacking the 
Confederates in an entirely new place and securing a city which 
was useful as a railway centre and as a manufacturing place of 
military stores. The distance between Chattanooga and Atlanta 
in a straight line is about 100 miles. The road was defended 
by Johnston, stationed at Dalton with a force of 43,150 cavalry, 
artillery and infantry, while Sherman's attacking force numbered 
100,000 with 254 gims. They were the flower of the Western 
soldiers, seasoned men, commanded by officers of sound judgment 
and trained courage. They had carefiilly prepared for the work 
they had to do, and realised Sherman's own description, that they 
were a mobile machine, willing and able to start at a minute's 
notice and submit to the scantiest food. 

Sherman left Chattanooga on May 5th, the day that Grant A Beriei of 
entered the Wilderness, and followed the line of railway to ^<h*»- 
Atlanta. Johnston had fortified a position on the railway called 
Tunnel Hill, which prevented Sherman from continuing his march 
to Dalton, so he was obliged to pass through the hills and strike 
at Resaca. McPherson, who commanded this detachment, foimd 
Resaca fortified, and when Sherman came up he learned that 
Johnston himself had retreated from Dalton to Resaca, and had 
made the position very strong. Sherman eventually gained 
possession of Resaca without a battle, and five days later reached 
Kingston. Here he halted to consoUdate his army, supply it with 



Oaptnre of 

Xavoh to 

provisions, and repair the railway in his rear. After this he came 
into conflict with Johnston at New Hope Church, and fought in 
that neighbourhood for six continuous days, gradually gaining 
the advantage. At the end of the month of May it was found 
that with the loss of 10,000 men on each side Sherman had 
successfully taken strong positions in which Johnston had 
entrenched himself, and was gradually approaching Atlanta. 

For the first half of June the two armies remained opposite 
to each other at Pine Mountain. On June 27th, however, 
Sherman made a vigorous attempt to capture Johnston's posi- 
tion in the Battle of Kenesaw, but it ended with failure and with 
great loss. He therefore determined to recross the railway and 
move his army to the south, by which he compelled Johnston 
either to retire to Atlanta or come out to fight him. Johnston 
was superseded by Hood, who, however, did not prove a success. 
Eventually, on September 2nd, 1864, Sherman became master 
of Atlanta, after four months' hard fighting and clever strategy. 
During his stay at Atlanta the Presidential election took place, 
and Lincoln was re-elected by a large majority, being opposed by 
McClellan. Lincoln remarked with regard to his own candidature 
that " it was best not to swop horses when crossing a stream." 

By the end of October Sherman had, in counsel with the 
President and Grant, determined upon his march through Georgia 
from Atlanta to Savannah upon the sea, which eventually put 
an end to the war. He made careful preparations for his enter- 
prise, sending away all his sick and disabled men, and reducing 
his baggage to a minimum. He left Atlanta on November 2nd, 
1865, and nothing was heard of him for six weeks. He had with 
him 55,000 infantry, 5,000 cavalry, and 68 gims. Besides these, 
there was an enormous number of ambulances and wagons. The 
army was principally composed of veteran soldiers, all of whom 
had unboimded confidence in " Uncle Billy," as they called their 
leader. The distance to be covered was 300 miles. The army 
was divided into two wings, marching by parallel routes, gener- 
ally a few miles apart, each wing having its own proportion of 
cavalry and trains. 

It is important to pay attention to the instructions issued for 
the conduct of the march, as they have been frequently referred 
to when similar circmnstances have arisen elsewhere. The colimins 
were to start at 7 in the morning and march about fifteen miles a 
day. The artillery and wagons were to keep the road, the troops 
marching at the side. The troops were permitted to forage so 
as to keep the wagons supplied with provisions for ten days. The 



soldiers were not allowed to enter dwellings or commit any 
trespass, but during a halt they were permitted to gather turnips, 
potatoes, and other vegetables, and drive in stock in sight of 
their camp. The power of destroying houses or mills was per- 
mitted to the commanders of corps alone, and this right of 
destruction was only allowed when the march was molested by 
irr^;ular troops, or if the inhabitants burned bridges or obstructed 
roads. In these cases the commanders were to enforce a devasta- 
tion more or less relentless, according to the measure of hostiUty 
shown. Horses, mules, and wagons might be appropriated freely, 
a distinction, however, being made between the rich and the poor. 
In all foraging the parties engaged were to leave behind a reason- 
able portion for the maintenance of the family. 

Sherman's army marched in accordance with these instruc- 8heniiaB*s 
tions, occupying a space from forty to sixty miles wide. The Chriitiiias 
wealthier inhabitants, as a rule, made their escape, but the negroes "***• 
followed the army. There was scarcely any fighting excepting 
within a few miles of Savannah and at the city itself. Savannah 
was occupied on December 21st, and Sherman wrote to the 
President, " I beg to present to you, as a Christmas gift, the city 
of Savannah, with 150 heavy guns and plenty of anununition, 
also about 25,000 bales of cotton." His entire loss during the 
march vras only 764 men. 

This successful march was the beginning of the end, if it were Sheridaii*i 
not the end itself ; but Sherman had still work of a similar kind Victories la 
to do. On February ist, 1865, he began a march northwards, ^|!|f^jj"" 
through Columbia, which was more difficult and more dangerous 
than the previous journey and required more miUtary skill. 
Colmnbia was captured on February 17th, without opposition, 
and Charleston was evacuated on the following day. Leaving 
Columbia on February 20th, Sherman reached Fayetteville on 
March nth. After this he fought a victorious battle, which 
enabled him to reach Goldsboro, on the direct road to Petersburg 
and Richmond. In the latter part of February Sheridan moved 
up the Shenandoah Valley with 10,000 cavahy, defeated Early 
with heavy loss, and joined Grant on the James River. At the 
b^^inning of April Sheridan gained a battle at Five Forks, which 
enabled him to render effective assistance to Grant, and at the 
same time the latter broke through the Confederate hues, while 
Sheridan moved up on the left, so that Petersburg, which is only 
twenty-three miles from Richmond, was completely sxurounded. 

Lee telegraphed to his Government that both Petersburg and 
Richmond must be evacuated, and next morning the Confederate 



capital was taken possession of by a detachment of the Federal 
army. The end came at Appomattox Courthouse, where, on 
April gth, 1865, Grant and Lee arranged the surrender of the 
Army of Virginia. The men were allowed to lay down their arms 
and retimi to their homes without molestation, provided that 
they did not take up arms against the United States. On the 
same terms Johnston surrendered to Sherman in North Carolina, 
and by the end of May all the Confederate armies had surrendered, 
while Jefferson Davis, who had been President of the Confederate 
Republic, was taken prisoner on May loth. 

The war was virtually at an end, but ere its conclusion the 
^yy man who had done more than anyone else to secure the victory 
was treacherously murdered in Washington. On the evening of 
April 4th the President and Mrs. Lincoln, along with friends, 
went to Ford's Theatre to see a play called Our American Cousin. 
About 10 o'clock, while Lincoln was seated in an arm-chair 
watching the play, a young actor, John Wilkes Booth, a fanatical 
Secessionist, opened the door of the box and, holding a pistol in 
one hand and a knife in the other, put the pistol to the President's 
head and fired. Major Rathbone, who was in the box, tried to 
seize him ; but Booth jiunped on to the stage and, turning to the 
audience, uttered the motto of Virginia, " Sic semper tyrannis ! " 
He then moved to the stage door, mounted a horse, and rode 
away, but did not escape punishment for his crime. The ball 
had entered the back of Lincoln's head and, passing through 
the brain, had lodged behind his left eye. He was carried^ 
aUve but imconscious, to a house across the street and, after 
lingering all night, watched by his family and members of his 
Cabinet, expired on the following morning, at about half-past 
seven. Andrew Johnson, the Vice-President, assumed the Presi- 
dential ofl&ce, and Lincoln — one of the greatest and most typical 
men the United States has yet produced — was buried on May 
4th, amid the most profound public mourning. 



Oermant: The Han of Blood and Iron 

On October 7th, 1858, Prince William of Prussia was made Regent PriuM 
of that country in the place of King Frederick William IV., who William aa 
was in bad health. He had, in fact, exercised these functions •*•"*• 
for nearly a year without having been formally appointed ; Prince 
Anton of Hohenzollem-Sigmaringen became his Prime Minister. 
In his first official speech the Prince declared that the welfare 
of the Crown and country was inseparable and depended on the 
maintenance of sound, strong, Conservative principles. After 
some words in favour of toleration in religion, he said that the 
army had created the greatness of Prussia and had won its 
territory ; the army of Prussia must, therefore, be powerful and 
conspicuous, if Prussia were to possess political influence in inter- 
national affairs. The world must learn that Prussia was prepared 
to stand everywhere as an upholder of justice. 

On April 14th, 1859, Archduke Albert of Austria appeared Austria*! 
in Berlin to announce the policy of his country with regard to ?™*I"** ** 
the war in Italy, which was just beginning, and to ask for the 
co-operation of Prussia. He said that Austria was about to send 
an ultimatum to Turin, and that if this were refused Piedmont 
would be immediately occupied and Austria would also direct her 
arms against France. He was ready to devote to a campaign on 
the Rhine 260,000 Austrian troops, who would be united with the 
federal army of Germany. Then the South Germans should unite 
with Austria imder his command, and the North Germans should 
attack the Lower Rhine under the leadership of Prussia. This 
meant that Prussia and Germany should throw themselves into 
the quarrel, and shed their blood for the preservation of Austrian 
dominion in Italy and her headship of the German Confederation. 
This offer was definitely refused by the Prince Regent, who 
determined, however, to strengthen his army in order to be able 
to speak with authority when the time came. Therefore, on April 
20th he mobilised three army corps, on April 29th six more, 
and on June 14th, ten days after the Battle of Magenta, he 
mobilised six divisions of the Guards, and on July 6th sent three 
of them to garrison Cologne, Coblenz and Treves. The Peace of 



tloB of the 


Villafranca, concluded suddenly on July nth, as we have already 
narrated, put an end to further extension of this policy for the 
present, but what had been already done had produced a certain 
amount of irritation in Austria. 

The Regent, however, pursued his reconstruction of the 
Prussian army, and in his speech from the throne on January 
I3th, i860, accentuated his policy. He said that Prussia must 
not break with the tradition of a glorious past, and that in the 
future, as well as in these days, the Prussian army must be a 
Prussian nation in arms. This duty must be fulfilled so far as 
the finances of the kingdom would allow. A new effort must be 
made for the protection and development of the Fatherland ; it 
must be protected against all the chances which Fortune might 
have in store for it. To carry this out a law of compulsory mihtary 
training was proposed on February loth, similar to that which 
had been passed in September, 1814. 

This project has not received the attention which it deserved in 
the Kght of after events. The then existing law of mihtary service 
dated from 1820, when Prussia had a population of 11,000,000. 
From these 40,788 recruits were raised by ballot and kept for two 
years imder the coloinrs. Although the population had increased 
to 18,000,000, the nimiber of recruits continued nearly the same ; 
indeed, in 1858, the ninnber was only 40,537 — that is, fewer than 
in 1820. It was beUeved, on good evidence, that the number 
of recruits could be raised to 63,000 without impairing their 
efficiency. But further alterations were necessary. The law 
imposing the duty of service up to the age of thirty-nine affected 
only 26 per cent, of those who were Hable to serve. They served 
two years under the colours, then ten years with the reserve, then 
seven years in the first division of the Landwehr and four in the 
second. Consequently, during the last eleven years those who 
served had not only to perform their ordinary civic duties, but 
to remain subject to constant interference from mihtary superiors, 
so long as they continued in the first division of the Landwehr; 
and if they were mobihsed their condition became far worse. 
In short, the larger part of the population available for service 
did not serve at all, and those who did were oppressed by an 
intolerable burden. The number of those who had, by lot, become 
subject to military service was diminished every year, between 
their entry into the reserve and their Uberation from the Landwehr, 
by death, illness or emigration, so that a heavier burden lay upon 
those who remained. The drainage from these causes was esti- 
mated at not less than 26 per cent, per annimi. It was therefore 



determined that all the infantry should serve for three years, 
which corresponded with the arrangement made in September, 
1814, and that the cavalry should serve for four years. The 
R^ent was strongly in favour of this change, and he was supported 
by Albert von Roon, who in 1859 took the place of Bonin as 
Minister of War. These proposals were strongly opposed, but 
were eventually carried, with some alterations in form, in May, 

King Frederick WiUiam IV. died at Sans Souci on New Fonnatioii 
Year's Day, 1861, and the Regent became King WiUiam I. of •' *^ 
Prussia. In his first speech he declared that Prussia ought not ]^[|£/ ** 
to be contented merely with what she possessed. She could only 
maintain her position among Eiuropean Powers by the energetic 
exercise of spiritual and moral forces, sincere devotion to reUgion, 
the imion of obedience and freedom, and by strengthening her 
army. In the Landtag, the lower house of the Prussian Parhament, 
a vote for the expenses necessary for the reorganisation of the 
army was only carried by eleven votes, and the election of a new 
House, which followed in the smnmer, saw the foundation of the 
so-called FortschriUspartei, that is. Progressive Party, which was 
opposed to spending more money on the army and to the increase 
of the term of miUtary service. In the elections this party won 
a hundred seats, and in the debate on the budget, which took 
place on March 6th, 1862, it gained a signal victory. Accordingly, 
the House was dissolved in the hope that new elections would 
give the military party a majority. Prince Hohenlohe Ingelfingen 
was made Prime Minister, and the Liberal members of the Cabinet 
resigned their portfoUos. 

But the elections of May showed a complete victory for the The Rise of 
party of progress, which in September passed a motion that all BtamFck. 
the expenditinre necessary for the reconstruction of the army on 
its new footing should be annulled. It was impossible to carry 
this out, because the money had been already spent. They, there- 
fore, fell back upon the dismissal of the Ministers and the return 
to the system of two years' service. The King found himself at 
war with his Chambers, and strong measures were necessary if 
the policy on which he had set his heart were to be maintained. 
In pursuance of this, on September 23rd, 1862, the King appointed 
Bismarck-Schonhausen Prime Minister, who, he knew, would 
support at all costs and without flinching the poUcy he favoured. 
The rise of Bismarck to the first place in the coimsels of his 
Sovereign was the opening of a new phase in the history of 



Imbiltoii f OF 

JLn Aato- 



Bismarck began his Ministry with the determination to place 
Prussia instead of Austria at the head of Germany. For this 
purpose political power must lie in the hands of the King, as no 
Parliament, divided by party, would be strong enough to carry 
an enterprise of this kind to a successful issue. Finding, there- 
fore, that the King and the Parliament were in hopeless disagree- 
ment about the organisation of the army, he determined that 
Parliament must give way, and advised his Sovereign to continue 
the struggle. The King was so disheartened by the opposition 
with which he was met that he thought seriously of abdication, 
but Bismarck appealed successfully to his feelings of honour as 
a soldier to maintain his post. He attempted at first to effect 
a reconciliation with the Liberals, and offered to include their 
leaders in the Ministry if they would support the new military 
arrangements. But they clung to the two years' military servdce, 
which the King would not accept. 

Bismarck therefore prorogued the Chambers before they had 
passed the army estimates, or even voted a budget for 1863, and 
governed without a budget and, indeed, without Parliamentary 
sanction, pursuing a course which in England in Charles I.'s time 
had cost Strafford his head, but which in the Germany of William I. 
was to have a very different result. He broke with the Liberals 
and gave all his confidence to the Conservatives. He appointed 
them to important military and administrative posts, and lost 
no opportunity of showing his dislike and distrust of his opponents. 
He kept a tight hand on the Press and gradually establ^hed an 
autocratic authority. He had no fear of revolution, as he could 
depend on the army, and the mass of the people took no interest 
in constitutional politics. He had the middle classes on his 
side, as he knew that they would appreciate his foreign policy 
and profit by the exaltation of Germany. The Conservatives 
on whom he depended in the House only numbered eleven 

Meeting the House in the autumn of 1862, Bismarck began 
by stating that the budget for 1863 would be withdrawn, and 
that a new budget for the year would be laid before them as soon 
as possible. This statement was not well received, as it was 
regarded as a return to the practice of not settling the budget 
until the beginning of the year to which it applied. Bismarck 
then had to face the budget committee, the members of which 
were for the most part opposed to his policy. The committee 
passed a resolution that the budget for 1863 should be imme- 
diately laid before them, and that it was contrary to the 



Constitution to spend any money which had been refused by 
the House of Representatives. The committee consisted of about 
thirty members, and the speeches were largely of the natiu^ of 
conversations ; and of these there were no verbatim reports, but, 
as the sittings were public, what passed could be remembered 
by many who heard what had been said. 

Bismarck warned the committee not to exaggerate their Bltmank 
powers, as the right of settling the budget did not rest with the Bxponndi 
House of Representatives alone, but was shared with the Upper ^2£i? 
House and the Crown, so that difference of opinion must be 
settled by compromise and not by forcing the vote on either side ; 
and, after all, patriotism and devotion to the interests of their 
common country were the most important things. He then 
proceeded to give his views of the Prussian character and to show 
how difficult it was for Prussia to adopt a constitutional form of 
government. Prussia was too educated, too critical ; the habit 
of discussing public affairs was too universal ; there were in the 
country too many Catilinians who had an interest in revolution. 
If Prussia were to have a predominating influence in Germany, 
this would be due, not to its Liberalism, but to its power. The 
territory of Prussia, as fixed by the Treaty of Vienna, was not 
favourable to a limited monarchy. The great questions of the 
age were not to be settled, as was attempted to be done in 1848 
and 1849, by speeches and divisions in Parliament, but by " blood 
and iron." He b^ged them to have confidence in the Ministry, 
and not to force a quarrel, so that their devotion to their country 
and their fundamental honesty might be impUcitly trusted. 

The first attempt at concihation failed. The report of the The OliTe 
committee was adopted, and an amendment proposed by Winckler, Twig, 
which Bismarck was willing to accept, was rejected. Bismarck 
warned them not to push the conflict too far ; if they did, a 
peaceful solution would be impossible. He showed the President 
of the House a twig of olive, which he said he had gathered at 
Avignon on his way up from Toulouse to present to the House, 
but the time for doing this did not seem to have arrived. 

Fortunately for Bismarck, the Prussian Constitution provided BiimaFck 
that all taxes and other imposts should remain in force imtil they "* Royal 
were abrogated or altered by law. If a proposed budget failed Jjj^^*' 
to pass the Chambers the Government were justified in having 
recourse to this provision. It is true that the Constitution declared 
that the budget must be passed in anticipation of each year. But 
it is also declared that the budget must be established by law. 
A law must be agreed to by three authorities to make it vaUd — ^the 
/ 65 


Lower House, the Upper House, and the Sovereign. If the Lower 
House refused to agree to a new budget, that did not prevent the 
other two bodies from providing for the necessities of the country. 
Bismarck said : " We will give you what the Constitution entitles 
you to ; we will not allow you anything which conflicts with the 
prerogative of the Crown. The Prussian monarchy has not yet 
fulfilled its mission ; the time has not yet come for making it a 
superfluous detail in the parUamentary machine." 
larowectloii The attention of the poUtical world was now turned to a 
la Poland* ^^^ quarter. In the night of January 22nd, 1863, the 

Russian garrisons of fourteen towns in Poland were attacked 
by the inhabitants, and many soldiers murdered in their sleep. 
This led to a general insinrection in Poland, which established a 
provisional Government and nominated Mieroslavski as Dictator. 
Bismarck immediately perceived the danger of the situation. He 
said, " The PoUsh question is to us a matter of Ufe or death." 
The insurgents, to whichever party they belonged, would not be 
contented with hberating Russian Poland alone ; they would 
liberate Posen, and would not rest until they had gained the coast 
of the Baltic and deprived Prussia of her Eastern Provinces. If 
the Poles became reconciled to the Russians the danger to Prussia 
would be greater. Russia and Poland might join together on 
the conmion basis of a Slav nationality, but there never could be 
peace between the Slav and the Teuton. 
Fraitla and King William sent Alvensleben to St. Petersbiurg with an 
Rwto Unite autograph letter to the Tsar proposing that the two Governments 
p^^ should take steps to meet the common danger, and it was agreed 

to prevent assistance from Posen from being given to the insur- 
gents, and to allow Russian troops to cross the Prussian frontiers 
in pursuit of the rebels ; four army corps were also mobilised 
so as to be able to guard the frontier. The Emperor Napoleon 
proposed that Austria, Great Britain and France should send 
identical notes to Prussia remonstrating on her conduct towards 
the Poles and threatening active measiures. Great Britain, led 
by Lord Russell — ^Lord John had been ennobled in 1861 — 
refused to take part in this action ; but, at the same time, 
Buchanan, the British Minister at BerUn, was instructed to 
moderate the action of Prussia as far as possible. 

There is no doubt that Bismarck's poUcy enabled Gortshakov 
to suppress the PoUsh insurrection, and also estabUshed a close 
alliance between Russia and Germany, which subsisted for a 
considerable time. It required great boldness to take this line. 
If war actually broke out, Prussia would bear the brunt of it, 



because Russia could have procured little assistance against 
France and Austria. Bismarck did not believe in the likeli- 
hood of war ; but he had, nevertheless, placed his country in a 
critical condition, and the Prussian Liberals resented his aJUiance 
with Russia. Prussia was becoming unpopular in Europe, whilst 
Austria was gaining fresh sympathy in consequence of her defence 
of Poland. 

In July, 1863, the Emperor of Austria convened at Frankfort PnufU 
a meeting of all the German Princes to obtain their consent to a B*»»^ 
scheme of federal reform, which should place the central authority p^^i^^-^i^ 
of the Federation in the hands of Austria and the Southern German soheme. 
States, her aUies. No sovereign was obhged to attend the meet- 
ing imless he wished to do so. The Emperor did his best to 
persuade the King of Prussia to take part in the congress, on the 
ground that it offered the best mode of reforming the Confedera- 
tion on conservative lines and preventing revolution, and William 
was on the point of yielding to these representations. Bismarck, 
however, saw that the success of the congress would strengthen 
the position of Austria, and persuaded the King with consider- 
able difficulty to have nothing to do with it. Bismarck even 
threatened to resign unless his wishes were yielded to, and William 
knew that the assistance of the Minister was indispensable in the 
struggle with the ParHament. In the absence of Prussia nothing 
could be accomplished at the congress, and the Southern States, 
jealous for their independence, rejected the proposal of Austria, 
as they had before rejected the proposals of Prussia for a closer 
union. Austria, finding that she could not obtain the assistance 
of the smaller German States in her rivalry with Prussia, was 
driven to make terms with her antagonist. Bismarck had, there- 
fore, succeeded in improving the position of Prussia both with 
r^ard to Russia and to Austria. 

Napoleon proposed, on November 5th, that a congress of all ^muim m 
the Powers should be held in Paris to discuss the condition of ''•****«'• 
Europe. This was directed against Austria, which formed an 
obstacle in the settlement of the ItaUan Question. He took steps 
to secure the friendship of Prussia, which might help him against 
Austria. Austria was naturaDy opposed to this congress, but 
did not like to refuse it, as she was already on bad terms with 
Russia over the Polish Question. So Rechberg, the Austrian 
Minister, had recourse to Prussia, to frustrate the congress with her 
help. Prussia, therefore, found herself approached by the two 
rival Powers, Austria and France, and in the position of a 






with Regard 
to the 


At this moment the Schleswig-Holstein Question entered into 
a new phase. The relations between Denmark and the Duchies 
had been settled by the London Protocol of 1852, but Denmark 
had refused to carry its provisions into effect. She trusted to the 
antagonism between Austria and Prussia, and the Polish insurrec- 
tion, which seemed likely to lead to a Eiuropean war, also favoured 
her plans. On March 30th, 1863, a new Constitution was 
proclaimed in Denmark on the authority of the Crown, by which 
Schleswig became a Danish Province, Holstein retaining to some 
extent an independent position. In doing this Denmark had 
acted with gross ill^aUty. She had forced the new Constitution 
on Holstein without asking her consent, and, by annexing 
Schleswig, had disobeyed the conditions of the London Protocol 
and disr^arded the rights of the German Confederation. 

This event caused intense excitement in Germany. The only 
way to carry out the agreement of 1852 was to separate the united 
Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein from Denmark and establish 
them as an independent territory under the Duke of Augusten- 
burg, and pubUc opinion strongly xu-ged that this should be done. 
Such a course could have been supported at the Federal Diet by 
most of the German States. But Austria and Prussia followed a 
policy that was in accordance with their own views and interests. 
Austria had no special reason to desire the emancipation of the 
Duchies. She knew by experience that the Schleswig-Holstein 
Question was one of the most diflScult in Europe, and was likely to 
cause trouble and embarrassment to anyone who meddled with 
it. As she was at present engaged in the settlement of the Polish 
Question with Russia, she was not anxious to have other quarrels 
on her hands. At the same time she could not allow such a matter 
to be adjusted without her co-operation, nor, having uiged the 
adoption of a scheme of Federal reform which should place her 
at the head of Germany, could she afford to n^lect a subject 
which the smaller States considered to be of vital importance. 
She therefore proposed that the German Confederation should 
demand the withdrawal of the Charter of March 30th, under 
penalty of federal execution, on the ground that the rights of 
Holstein were violated by it. 

Bismarck had no reason to desire the establishment of a 
separate sovereignty of the two Duchies under the House of 
Augustenbiurg, as such a course would be opposed to the imity of 
Germany and the supremacy of Prussia. A small State of this 
kind would be driven to lean upon the protection of Austria, in 
order to escape absorption by Prussia. His real desire was, what 



he eventually achieved, the union of both Duchies with a German 
Confederation of which Prussia should be the head. This, how- 
ever, could not be effected without war with Denmark, since that 
proud, though tiny. State would not give up Schleswig without a 
struggle, and the Great Powers would not view the dismember- 
ment of Denmark with indifference. 

Moreover, Prussia was unpopular with most of the German 
States and, if she went to war, would in all probability be attacked 
by them, supported by Austria. It was necessary, therefore, to 
gain time. The Austrian proposal of a federal execution would 
at least give Bismarck breathing space for the making of his plans, 
as it could not be carried out without some delay, and in the 
interval fresh circimistances might arise and place Prussia in a 
more favourable position. For these diverse reasons, therefore, 
Austria and Prussia, in spite of their bitter disagreement about 
the Polish Question, joined in canying a resolution in the Federal 
Diet on July 9th, 1863, that Denmark should be ordered to annul 
the Charter issued in March and comply with the provisions of 
1852. If she refused, Holstein would be immediately occupied 
by the troops of the Confederation. 

The Danish Government met this by repudiating every kind Death of the 
of compromise, and annoimced on September 28th that a Constitu- K*"* ^ 
tion would be proclaimed to act according to the provisions of "•■"■•*• 
the Charter, and twelve days later the German Confederates deter- 
mined, amidst great enthusiasm, to take immediate action. This 
decision was embarrassing both to Austria and Prussia. They 
could not stand aloof, yet were not prepared to enter into a war 
with Denmark, as she was almost certain to be supported by Great 
Britain. Bismarck was approached by Blixen, the head of 
the Moderate Party in Denmark, and by Sir Andrew Buchanan, 
acting under the instructions of Lord Russell, to delay the execu- 
tion, which he was very willing to do. He was assisted by the 
fact that Napoleon was renewing his favourite proposal of a 
congress in Paris to settle disputed European questions, and this 
diciunstance also disposed Austria to delay. In the midst of 
these complications King Frederick VII. of Denmark, the last of 
an ancient line, was suddenly seized with erysipelas and died after 
a short illness on November 15th, so that the whole question 
assumed an entirely different aspect. 

Napoleon said, in his Speech from the Throne on November HapolMB'i 
5th, 1863 : " The treaties of 1815 have ceased to exist ; what is Pwpoted 
more reasonable than to summon the European Powers to a ^■'•'•■••' 
congress which should form a high court of arbitration for all 



The RlTftl 
Glaimi to 

Ooeapled by 

questions in dispute ? " On the same day invitations to attend 
such a congress in Paris were issued to all Eiuropean sovereigns. 
The tidings came like a thunderclap upon Europe. The suggested 
congress was welcomed by the smaller and weaker Powers, but 
it would throw the Frankfort Congress into the shade, while Great 
Britain and Russia regarded it as an act of impertinence. The 
consequence was a change of alliances. Hitherto France and 
Austria had been opposed on the Polish Question to Prussia and 
Russia ; now Prussia, Austria, Russia, and Great Britain were 
formed into a combination against France. 

In Denmark Prince Christian had been designated as sovereign 
by the protocol of 1852, but he was obhged, in deference to Danish 
opinion, to accept the Constitution, and thus broke with Germany. 
On the other hand. Prince Frederick of Augustenburg laid claim 
to Schleswig-Holstein by hereditary right. His father, indeed, 
had renotmced his claim in 1852, but the Germans ignored this 
in their desire to Uberate the Duchies from the detested Danish 
yoke. The Confederation seemed to support his claims, and he 
was acknowledged by some of its members, such as Baden and 
Coburg ; but Austria and Prussia were boimd by the protocol 
which they had both signed, and, therefore, were obliged to 
acknowledge King Christian IX. as Duke of Schleswig-Holstein. 

At the same time, Bismarck saw that the dispute had not 
been entirely disposed of. It was true that the protocol settled 
the question of the sovereignty of the Duchies, but the Constitu- 
tion of November went farther than this, and violated the protocol 
by incorporating the northern Duchy with Denmark. If King 
Christian sided with the Eider-Danes, that is, with the party which 
desired the Eider to be the southern boimdary of Denmark, and 
confirmed the Constitution, the Germans could take their stand 
upon the protocol and make it difficult for Great Britain and other 
friendly Powers to interfere on behalf of the Danes. If a war 
broke out Prussia would play a leading part in it and be able to 
dispose of the spoils of victory as she pleased. The Austrian 
Government was inclined to follow a similar Une and to base its 
policy on the soUd ground of the London Protocol and the resolu- 
tion of the Bund. But, in doing this, it did not, like Bismarck, 
hope for war, but looked forward to a peaceful conclusion. The 
two Powers having thus come to agreement, Holstein was occupied 
in December, 1863, by Hanoverian and Saxon troops, the armies 
of Austria and Prussia being at their back. The Danes retired 
from the southern Duchy without a blow, but were prepared to 
defend Schleswig by a stubborn resistance. 



It was hardly to be expected that the astute and foreseeing pnmUii 
policy of Bismarck would be understood and recognised by public Parilament 
opinion in Prussia or even in the rest of Germany. The pre- SjJJJJ^? 
dominant desire in Germany was that the Duchies should not be 
Danish, and the London Protocol seemed to hand them over to 
King Christian. But a poUcy bound upon the observance of the 
IRX)tocol was not in accordance with German feeling ; the best 
way of securing the independence of the Duchies was to hand 
them over to Frederick, Duke of Augustenbiurg. This feeling 
found expression in the Prussian ParUament and, on December 
and, 1863, the Lower House, by a large majority, demanded the 
immediate acceptance of Duke Frederick, in opposition to the 
policy of Bismarck. A similar revulsion of opinion showed itself 
in the Bund. The Federal Diet, in a resolution of January i6th, 
1864, refused to continue the execution, thus declining to acknow- 
ledge the right of King Christian to the Duchies, and breaking 
with the provisions of the London Protocol. 

This action was turned to good accoimt by Bismarck, for it AnstrU 
exactly suited his pohcy. He could now disregard the Confedera- l>««l*»«« 
tion and act independently, as representing one of the great ^J^^ff ** 
European Powers who had signed the London Protocol. Austria, 
in her dread of Napoleon, afraid to sacrifice the friendship of 
Prussia, adopted a similar pohcy, and on January i6th, 1864, 
agreed to send a joint ultimatum to Denmark, demanding the 
repeal of the Constitution. If Denmark refused, Schleswig would 
inmiediately be occupied by 60,000 Austrians. This arrangement 
was so hastily concluded that there was no time to consider what 
should be the result of this action, or what should be done with 
the Duchies in the futiure. This was left to mutual agreement. 
Bismarck had thus secured the co-operation of Austria in the 
conquest of the Duchies, without binding himself in any way not 
eventually to attach them to his own kingdom. Rechberg asked 
for the laying down of some principles on which future agreements 
would be based, but it was easy for Bismarck to turn a deaf ear 
to these representations, and as time pressed they remained 
unanswered. Things tinned out as Bismarck had suspected. 
Denmark rejected the ultimatmn, war was declared, and Schleswig 
was attacked. 

Some years afterwards Coimt Beust asked Bismarck how he Biimarek*! 
had persuaded the Danes to fight, seeing that they were certain AMmpwwe 
to be beaten, and he rephed that he contrived to assure them *^ *>«■»•«• 
that they were certain to receive assistance from Great Britain. 
At this time the futiure Lord Lytton was Charg6 d' Affaires at 



Copenhagen, in the absence of the Ambassador, Sir Arthur Paget. 
One day he received a dispatch from Lord Russell, promising 
British assistance to the Danes against the attacks of Austria 
and Prussia. This dispatch was so important and so certain 
to bring about a European war that Lytton put it, for the moment, 
into his pocket and said nothing about it, waiting for further 
information. Russell had sent this dispatch without the know- 
ledge of the Queen, who was at the time in the Isle of Wight, 
much withdrawn from pubUc affairs, in the early years of her 
widowhood. When it came to her knowledge she refused to give 
her adhesion to the policy, unless it were endorsed by all the 
members of the Cabinet, expressed in public. She knew well 
that this consent could not be given, and, in fact, a week later a 
dispatch was sent of a very different character, which was not 
likely to lead to extreme measures. Lytton was able to con- 
gratulate himself up>on his foresight, but Bismarck had probably 
become acquainted with the piuport of the first dispatch and 
had based upon it the information given to the Danes, although 
he must have known that it was extremely xmlikely that Great 
Britain would risk a war on their behalf. 
WiBMtfek'i Bismarck had to pursue an isolated policy without sympathy 
IioUtteiL ^j. support, against the opposition of his country and the Court 
which he served. On January 22nd, 1864, the Lower House of 
the Prussian Parliament refused supplies for the war and, what 
was worse, the King began to waver. The Duke of Augusten- 
burg was a favourite at the Prussian Court, and an intimate friend 
of the Crown Prince, and when he came to Berlin he was well 
received by the King. The Crown Prince Frederick had no great 
sympathy with the general poUcy of Bismarck, either then or 
afterwards. He considered that, by weakening the position of 
the smaller German States, he was impairing his own future 
authority as King of Prussia. Roon, also, the Minister of War, 
was in favom: of the claims of Augustenburg. Bismarck, 
however, clearly saw that the recognition of the claims of Duke 
Frederick and the creation of the two Duchies into an indepen- 
dent sovereignty would be hostile to the interests of Prussia. 
Among other things, it was important to secure Kiel for the 
creation of the German fleet, whidh was one of his favoiuite plans. 
Besides, to desert the firm ground of the protocol might give other 
Powers a pretext for supporting Denmark. To gain his way, 
therefore, Bismarck was driven to adopt his usual expedient of 
threatening resignation, and the King could not dispense with the 
Minister who alone could support him against the unfriendly 



Chambers. He therefore accepted the line of foreign policy upon 
which Bismarck insisted. 

The troops destined for the invasion of Schleswig were collected Denmuk*! 
at the Eider at the beginning of January, 1864. They consisted J**"** 
of three army corps, the first imder the command of Prince j^i^^?* " 
Frederick Charles of Prussia, known as " the Red Prince," the Defenee. 
Austrians under Gablentz, the third a division of the Prussian 
Guard imder von der Miilbe. The whole army, 57,000 strong, 
was conmianded by Wrangel, a vigorous man of eighty, but too 
old for the work. To these forces the Danes opposed an army of 
55,000 men under the command of de Meza, but of these only 
40,000 were available in Schleswig. The Danes were inferior in 
numbers, but trusted to the difficulties of the country, the deep 
sea-inlets, the swamps, the hedge-divided fields, and, above all, to 
their fleet. North of the Eider the threatened Duchy was 
defended by the Dannewerk, an ancient earthwork, protected by 
deep morasses, stretching between the town of Schleswig and the 
sources of the river Rheide, and also by the broad fiord of the 
Schki. The Dannewerk was garrisoned by 22,000 infantry and 
artiUery, with a reserve of 5,000, and 2,000 dragoons. This 
defence was regarded as impregnable, and the Emperor Napoleon 
expressed the opinion that it would keep the Germans back for 
at least two years. 

Miilbe said that the war was easy to begin but difficult to end. The Debm- 
He was opposed to direct attacks. He recommended the passing J^^ Pw)¥6i 
of the Lower Schlei and the capture of Flensborg rather than the 
storming of the Dannewerk ; the occupation of Jutland rather 
than the attack on Diippel ; if this did not bring peace the seiziure 
of Funen would end the war. Unfortunately Wrangel did not 
follow these instructions. The Eider was crossed on February 
1st. The Danes retired without resistance, and the first conflict 
took place next day at the trenches of Missund. In the following 
days the Prussians crossed the Schlei, and the Austrians attacked 
the Dannewerk. To the joy of the Germans and the dismay of 
the Danes, it was found that the morasses were hard frozen and 
offered no obstruction to the enemy. Nothing was left for the 
Danes but to evacuate the position, and the Dannewerk was 
occupied by the Germans five days after the beginning of opera- 
tions. The effect of this sudden surprise caused the greatest 
consternation. De Meza, who had saved the Danish army, was 
driven from his post, and in Paris the startling news was declared 
to be a fabric of falsehood. Palmerston threatened to assist the 
Danes materiaUy in the spring, a step which pubUc opinion in 



IttMk on 

ovar the 

of Mppel. 

Great Britain rendered impossible. In Germany the opponents of 
war were divided in opinion, but suffered a conmion disappoint- 
ment. The smaller States were especially sorry that Schleswig 
should be occupied by the Prussians, who, they thought, were not 
likely to surrender what they had once conquered. To calm 
this excitement Manteuffel was sent to Hanover and Dresden, and 
the fears of King George and King John were quieted by his 

The allies had now the alternative of storming Diippel or 
occupying Jutland. After deliberation it was agreed that Prince 
Frederick Charles should remain before Diippel, and that Gablentz 
should enter the Northern Province. The Austrians, however, 
objected, and Miilbe hastened to Berlin to persuade the Emperor 
and Bismarck that his plan of campaign must be carried out. 
Operations were hindered for nearly a month, during which time 
France and Great Britain had a fair opportunity to devise 
expedients to put an end to the war. At last the Austrians gave 
way, and the march into Jutland began on March 6th, and by 
March 20th the greater part of the province was in German hands. 
Now began the attack on Diippel, which opened on March 15th. 
An attack on Alsen was prevented by bad weather, and the forces 
of the Allies were concentrated in Diippel. At the end of March 
it had become necessary that the position of Prussia with regard 
to Europe should be strengthened by the gaining of a decisive 

The Danes were averse to the British proposal to call a confer- 
ence in London to reconsider the protocol of 1852, because they 
beUeved that not only would the Powers intervene on their behalf, 
but that it was possible civil war might break out in Germany. 
The Danish Ministers adhered strongly to the incorporation of 
Schleswig, and were opposed to the union of the two Duchies as 
a separate State. But the occupation of Jutland had produced 
the effect Miilbe had expected, as Denmark was deprived of the 
income and the profits she derived from that province. In the 
meantime Bismarck replied to the British invitation to attend a 
conference on April 12th, that it was impossible for Austria and 
Prussia to make any decision without the consent of the Bund, 
and when this body took the matter into consideration on March 
26th they determined to send Beust to represent them. 

With great exertions the Prussians were able to open the bom- 
bardment of Diippel at the beginning of April ; but it was impos- 
sible to effect its capture before the opening of the conference. 
The date of the assault was eventually fixed by Prince Frederick 



Charles for April i8th. The whole of the preceding day was 
occupied by a murderous fire from the Prussian batteries, and 
at two in the morning the columns advanced to the attack. 
At daybreak the cannonade began again and, as the clock 
struck 10, the cannonade ceased and the storm columns advanced 
from the parallels. In a few minutes the ditches were occupied, 
an obstacles overcome, and in less than half an hour the six 
batteries were conquered, the defenders were killed or made 
prisoners, and the Prussian flag was planted on the parapet. The 
capture of the second line of defence succeeded that of the first, 
and in three hours everything was over. The Danes had suffered 
such losses and were so entirely broken that Gerlach could no 
longer hold the bridge-head, but led his troops across the Alsen 
and destroyed the bridge. At 3 o'clock in the afternoon, Diippel, 
and with it the whole of Schleswig, was in the hands of the 
conquerors. The Prussian loss was 1,100 killed and wounded 
out of a total force of 16,000. The Danish loss was about the 
same out of 11,000, but 3,600 were taken prisoners and 118 gims 
and 4,000 rifles were lost. 

News of the victory roused Berlin to enthusiasm. The King Enthntiani 
received the telegram announcing it just as he had finished a ^ Berlin, 
review of the Guard. Hurrjdng back to the review ground, he 
communicated the tidings to the troops and sent his thanks to 
Prince Frederick Charles and the victorious army. He went 
himself to Schleswig and reviewed his conquering troops on April 
2ist. He was soon followed by Moltke, head of the general staff. 
Jutland was overrun, but the Danish Government, determining 
to continue the war, transferred the garrison of Fredericia to the 
Island of Fiinen and gave up the place to the Austrians. 

The victory of Diippel did not put a stop to the strife of parties No InieF- 
in Germany, though it produced a profound effect in Europe. ▼•^Woa '•' 
Clermont Tonnfere informed his Government that it was impossible ^ 

to maintain the imion of the Duchies with Denmark, and the 
correspondent of The Times expressed the same opinion. In 
Paris Lord Cowley told Goltz that it was obvious that the Duchies 
desired to be free from Denmark, and that it would be im-EngUsh 
to keep them imder Danish rule. King Leopold compared the 
union of the Duchies with Denmark to that of Belgium with 
Holland, to the division of which he owed his crown, and Queen 
Victoria came over at last to the same view. Palmerston, how- 
ever, still remained obstinate, but it now appeared that Bismarck 
had been right in his forecast that no intervention would be under- 
taken by the Powers. Great Britain had to content itself with 



summoning the signatories of the protocol of 1852 to a conference 
in London. Immediately after the fall of Diippel a truce was 
arranged at the conference, which met in London on April 25th. 
Bimiafek't It is interesting to trace the skill with which Bismarck, who had 

li!!/ steadily set before himself the object of imiting the two Duchies 

to Germany, gradually gained his end ; he was the only one 
among the negotiators who knew his own mind and had a clear 
and settled policy. To assist his projects public opinion began 
to turn in favour of the Prussian annexation of the Duchies. 
France, embittered with Great Britain for many reasons, among 
them the persistence of plots against the Emperor's Ufe and the 
visit of Garibaldi, came round to the side of Prussia and secretly 
offered her the possession of the Duchies. A popular agitation 
in the Duchies themselves favoured annexation, and, despite 
Bismarck's contempt for popular opinion, he carefully fostered it. 
In England sympathies in favour of Denmark were once more 
aroused by the appearance of T^ethoff's fleet in the English 
Channel, and an Austrian victory over some Danish ships made 
the Germans afraid that if Austria gained the upper hand she 
might assume a preponderating position in the settlement of the 
question. This inclined public opinion in Prussia to Bismarck's 
views, while the agitation in Germany in favour of some practical 
result from the war might, if not satisfied, cause a revolution, 
and fear of this brought Austria over to her side. 
A failla In the conference Rechberg declared that the provisions of 

CtafeKBoe. jg^2 were at an end, and Bismarck made a formal demand for 
the separation of the Duchies from Denmark. The Danes refused 
all compromise, and on Jime 25th the conference broke up with- 
out result. The resumption of the war was inevitable, but 
Prussia was now in a more favourable position than before. 
Russia was on her side, and France was her friend, while Great 
Britain foimd that an understanding with Austria and Prussia 
was the best safeguard against the dangers of Napoleon's rest- 
lessness. The Great Powers, therefore, left Denmark to her fate, 
and she could expect no assistance from Sweden. 
Blmutfek There remained the difficulty of Augustenbuig. If the Duchies 

MidAiifiii- ^gre separated from Denmark and made into a separate State, 
"* this would be natiurally governed by Duke Frederick, and this 
would not be in accordance with Bismarck's views. He therefore 
set himself to get rid of these obstacles. King William being still 
in favour of Augustenburg, Bismarck affected to support his claims, 
but demanded certain guarantees for the security of Prussia. For 
instance, the army, the post office, and the railways must be under 



Prussian control. Austria did not like this, and under her 
influence the Duke refused any conditions which might limit his 
independence. This made his cause hopeless. At the beginning 
of Jime Bismarck published his offers to Augustenburg and the 
Duke's refusal of them, and this convinced the King and a large 
portion of the Prussian people that the accession of Augusten- 
bui^g would be inopportime. Bismarck now began to reap the 
fruit of his labours. His policy was generally approved by the 
country, and some members of the Opposition came over to his 
side. Indeed, both parties in the Prussian Parliament became 
convinced that to establish a Sovereign in the Duchies who would 
be in league with Austria would be a serious danger to Prussian 
interests and the future of German unity, and they set themselves 
to discover means by which the Duchies could be annexed to 
Prussia or a Protectorate established over them. 

Before the conference actually closed. Prince Frederick Charles Capture of 
prepared for an attack upon Alsen. He collected, in advance, as Alien, 
many pontoons and boats as he could lay his hands on, so as to 
throw a force of 2,500 men into the island, who were to be 
reinforced at intervals of half an hour. On June 21st he was able 
to inform King William and Bismarck, who were at Carlsbad, 
that everything was ready, and he heard with joy that on June 
26th the armistice would be at an end. The expedition set out in 
the early morning of June 29th. The Danes made what resist- 
ance they could, but by 9 everything was over, and on July ist 
not a single Dane was left in the island. The loss of the Danes 
had been twice that of the Prussians, half of their army had been 
made prisoners, and the spoil of the conquerors included two 
gunboats, 108 guns, 200 rifles, and a large quantity of munitions 
of war. The defeat fell like a bolt from the blue on Copenhagen. 
The Eider-Danes were in despair ; the expected assistance from 
Great Britain was not likely to be forthcoming, and the defeated 
army threatened the war party with an attack unless they concluded 

After the occupation of Alsen King Christian ordered his "All ii 
ambassador in Paris to ask the Emperor categorically whether l«oit.** 
assistance might be expected from him. The answer came in the 
early morning of July 8th : "All is lost ; the Emperor will do 
nothing for us." The King did not wait for his Privy Council. 
He sent for Monrad, the head of the Eider-Danes, who imme- 
diately resigned his post and was succeeded by Bluhne, who, 
on July 1 2th, made proposals for an armistice and peace to Berlin 
and Vienna. In the meantime the Allies continued their opera- 






P^aoe of 

Pninia and 

tions. On July 14th Prince Albert and Falkenstein rode with 
their staffs to the Skaw, the northern extremity of Jutland, where 
the waters of the North Sea and the Baltic meet. As they gazed 
over the expanse of the stormy sea, they saw some Danish trans- 
ports on the waters, and hoisted the allied flags of Prussia and 
Austria in their sight. The whole of Schleswig and Jutland was 
now in the possession of the allies. The armistice began on 
July 30th. 

It was now necessary to determine the terms of peace. 
Bismarck proposed to Rechberg that King Christian should 
surrender his rights over all teriitory south of the King's Island, 
and recognise any arrangements which the AUies might make 
about the three Duchies of Schleswig, Holstein, and Lauenberg. 
Some settlement must also be made with regard to the pubUc 
debt and the costs of the war. He thought the idea of including 
Denmark in the German Bund impracticable and imdesirable. 
He made preparations during the armistice for an attack on 
Fiinen, notwithstanding the opposition of Austria. He then had 
an interview with Prince Gortshakov at Carlsbad, in which he 
secured the adhesion of Russia to his plans for peace. When 
King WiUiam departed for his cure at Gastein, Bismarck persuaded 
him to confer with Rechberg at Vienna. Here Bismarck person- 
ally conducted the negotiations for peace, the conditions of which, 
naturally, seemed hard to the Danes ; but prehminaries were 
eventually signed on August ist, 1864. 

Schleswig-Holstein was now free from Danish rule, and the 
German language and German education were to prevail imdis- 
turbed from the King's Island to the Eider. After signing the 
prehminaries, Bismarck left Vienna and joined King WiUiam at 
Gastein, committing the conclusion of the definite treaty to other 
hands. A long correspondence took place between Rechberg and 
Bismarck, which ended in the retirement of the Austrian Minister 
on October 27th, and three days later the Peace of Vienna was 
signed. The differences of opinion between Austria and Prussia 
had nearly brought about a war, but, for the moment, peace was 
assured and Francis Joseph and WiUiam remained on the most 
friendly terms. 

The Duchies were now subjected to a joint administration 
of the two alUed Powers, and the differences of opinion which 
arose out of this situation eventuaUy led to the Austro-Prussian 
War of 1866. It is, therefore, worth whUe to consider how these 
differences came into existence, and what was their nature. The 
moment the war was concluded the divergence between the 



policies of Austria and Prussia became evident. Austria, anxious 
that Prussia should not obtain a large accession of territory in 
consequence of the war, wished the Duchies to be handed over to 
Augustenburg. She would thus be relieved of the duty of garrison- 
ing Schleswig and would secure the favour of the smaller German 
States. Bismarck was, of course, opposed to this, but saw clearly 
that the end he was aiming at could only be accompUshed by 
war, and afterwards expressed the opinion that it would have 
been better if war had come at that moment. But King William 
had made up his mind that he would not draw the sword against 
Austria unless it were clear that she was attacking the honour 
and welfare of his coimtry. Besides, it would not be wise to make 
war with Austria if there were any likelihood of France inter- 
fering on her behalf. Bismarck therefore rejected the Austrian 
proposal on the ground that the titles of all claimants, including 
that of Oldenburg, must first be examined ; and Austria, however 
much she might have considered war inevitable, did not desire it 
at present, especially as she was being threatened in her Itahan 
dominions by France. 

Austria also suffered a defeat in her commercial policy. The ReohlMrg 
Prussian ZoUverein, or Customs Union, was renewed in October, R«ri*wi. 
1864, for another period of twelve years. Austria would have 
been glad to form a similar combination of her own with the South 
German States ; but as this was not done, no alternative was 
left them excepting to join Prussia. From the victories of Federal 
Reform, the Danish War, and the Customs Union it was obvious 
that Prussia represented German feeling far more than Austria 
did, and that the supremacy would gradually fall into Prussian 
hands. This led to an attack upon Rechberg, who was accused 
of offending both the smaller States and the great Powers of 
Europe, and of pursuing a policy which would inevitably lead to 
the domination of Prussia. The supporters of the Anti-Prussian 
policy were Schmerling, the Home Secretary, and Biegeleben, a 
Privy Councillor. Rechberg foresaw what would happen — ^that 
Bismarck would never yield to threats, that war was inevitable, 
and that the consequence would be the loss of Venice. It was, 
therefore, better to remain on good terms with Prussia, even at 
the cost of sacrifices in Schleswig-Holstein. But he was not a 
Bismarck, and as the Emperor could not spare Schmerling from 
the Home Department, Rechberg resigned. He was succeeded 
by Count Mensdorff, a Conservative and a strong supporter of the 
alliance with Prussia. But he was too much under the influence of 
Biegeleben, who made it his pohcy to consolidate the smaller 



German States and settle as soon as possible the question of 
The Freneh Whilst Prussia had reached the first stage in the unification 
In Rome. ^j Germany by the Uberation of Schleswig-Holstein, the Emperor 
Napoleon took an important step towards his favourite project 
of the independence of Italy. French troops still formed the 
garrison of Rome, as the Emperor found the support of the 
Clerical party necessary to the security of his throne. Yet the 
presence of the French garrison was a continual grievance to Italy, 
and many representations were made to the Emperor for its 
removal. At length it was suggested that the removal of the 
capital of Italy from Turin to Florence might tend to produce the 
impression that the Itahans had surrendered the idea of claiming 
Rome, and pave the way for the withdrawal of the French 
TheClaliiii There were, indeed, many reasons why Florence should make 
^ ?^rfS!i* ^ ^^^^ fitting capital for Italy than Rome. She was the spiritual 
head of the Italian peninsula. The mighty dead whose monu- 
ments adorn the walls of Sante Croce — ^Dante, Michael Angelo, 
MachiaveUi, and others — ^were the real source of Italian greatness 
in the modem age, and the intellect of Europe turned to Italy 
with passionate devotion. Every street in Florence throbbed 
with the Italian spirit. The majestic pile of the Palazzo Vecchio, 
the sacred gloom of the Duomo, the gay elegance of Giotto's 
Campanile, the alabaster windows of San Miniato, the sculptured 
doors of San Giovanni, spoke to the Itahans of the glory of their 
country. On the other hand, Rome, by the influence of the 
Jesuits and the presence of the Papacy, had become almost a 
non-ItaUan city. It contained nothing of the Republic, Uttle of 
the Empire, much of foreign influence and domination. Florence 
recalled a glorious past and stimulated a prosperous future. Rome 
might be the capital of an organised Church ; Florence was the 
source of a spiritual Italy which based its aspirations for the 
future on the intellectual triumphs of the past. At the same time 
it was a hard task for Victor Emmanuel to depose the city of his 
birth. He had surrendered to the French the cradle of his race, 
and was now asked to reduce the capital of his kingdom to the 
level of a provincial town. 

Eventually a treaty providing that the French garrison should 
evacuate Rome within two years was signed on September 15th ; 
of course, with the condition that the capital should be transferred 
to Florence. The change was resented by riots in Turin, and 
these could not be put down without bloodshed. The King, whose 



real sympathies lay with the rioters, dismissed the Minghetti 
Ifinistry on September 23rd, 1864, and smnmoned La Marmora 
to his coimsels. He formed a Ministry which consisted ahnost 
entirely of Piedmontese, who quieted the apprehension of the 
people, secured the approval in both Chambers of the Convention 
with France, and transferred the Government to Florence, the 
King taking up his residence in the Palazzo Pitti. But such a 
change could not be effected without symptoms of disintegration. 
There was now a violent Piedmontese party, over which Mazzini 
was able to exercise considerable influence, in opposition to the 
Government. The Ministry had a large majority in ParUament, 
but the existence of discontent amongst those holding extreme 
opinions on either side deprived it of the homogeneous authority 
it had before possessed. 

The differences between Austria and Prussia with regard to The 
Schleswig-Holstein still continued acute. Bismarck had his mind Behleiwlg- 
fixed firmly on the acquisition of the Duchies, but was reluctant SSJ^^IJL. 
to break with Austria. Mensdorfl, on the other hand, was 
persuaded by Biegeleben that he might force Bismarck to give 
way by an attitude of finnness, and he wrote three dispatches 
to Berlin on the subject, the result of which was to dismiss the 
claims of Oldenburg and to revive those of Augustenburg, in order 
that the Duchies might not fall into Prussian hands. Bismarck 
saw that the first step was to get the troops of the Bund out of 
the Duchies, and, with that object, he made an appUcation to 
Hanover and Saxony, who supplied them. But these smaller 
States were also jealous of Prussia, and supported Austria in her 
reluctance to see the federal occupation come to an end. Eventu- 
ally the Bund decided by a majority that the occupation should 
cease, whereupon the administration of Holstein should be under- 
taken jointly by Austria and Prussia, as that of Schleswig had 
already been. 

The condition of affairs was now as follows. The Bund held Anttri*'* 
firmly to the rights of Augustenburg, but they had no authority ™°®^*y* 
to enforce their opinions. Bismarck, on the other hand, recognised 
that Christian IX. was the only legal sovereign of the Duchies, 
but he denied his right to the incorporation of Schleswig with 
Denmark. Austria oscillated between these two views. She had 
begun by recognising the rights of Christian IX., but when she 
feared that this might lead to a Prussian occupation and annexa- 
tion of the Duchies, she leaned to the side of Augustenburg ; yet 
she would have sacrificed the Duchies could she have obtained 
adequate compensation for herself. Eventually she concluded that 

S 81 


her only safeguard against Prussia lay in supporting the authority 
of the Bund ; and Bismarck, on his side, was convinced that his 
only chance of realising his policy lay in getting rid of that 
authority. Eventually Bismarck informed Mensdorff, in February, 
1865, that he would admit the claim of Augustenbuig, on condi- 
tion that the Duchies should enter into the ZoUverein and adopt 
the Prussian system of customs, that the posts and telegraphs 
should belong to Prussia, that the control of the North Sea and 
Baltic Canal, which was soon to be constructed, should remain 
in her hands, that Friedrichstadt, Diippel and the mouth of the 
canal should be surrendered to her. He asked further that the 
army and fleet of the Duchies should be under Prussian control, 
that Rendsbui^g should receive a Prussian garrison, that the Duchies 
should be subject to Prussian mihtary law, that the recruiting 
system for the army and navy should be in Prussian hands, and 
that the troops of the Duchies should take the oath of allegiance 
to the King of Prussia and be under his orders. 
BiiaaTCk'i To this Austria replied that they had always opposed the 

avttaB. formation of Schleswig-Holstein as a half-Sovereign State, and 
that if it were admitted into the Confederation it must be on the 
same footing as other members. Austria was ready to concede 
to Prussia all the advantages which were reasonably demanded 
by her sacrifices, her expenses, and her geographical position. It 
was right that Rendsburg should be made a federal fortress, that 
Kiel should be a harbour for the Prussian navy, that the canal 
should be made between the North Sea and the Baltic, that 
Schleswig-Holstein should enter the ZoUverein ; but, when Prussia 
made demands which were inconsistent with the existence of the 
Bund, Austria must protect her own interests and those of 
Germany and decline to enter upon negotiations on such a basis. 
Nothing, therefore, remained but a continuance of the joint 
occupation, to the delight of Bismarck and the distress of 
Mensdorff. At the same time the tone of Austria in this answer 
made Bismarck cautious, and induced him to ask Moltke to make 
a report on the strength of the Austrian army. For the time the 
world had peace. On February 27th a commercial treaty was 
concluded between the two rival States, with as much imanimity 
as if a difference between them had never existed. 
Valve of the Bismarck had good reason to hope that the annexation of 
^"•****« ^ the Duchies to Prussia would eventually be accomplished. Their 
financial position was not such as to render their separate exist- 
ence possible. The income of the united Duchies was 6,500,000 
thalers, but the cost of collection, together with the expenses of 



local government, was 4,500,000, and their share of the Danish 
debt was 1,000,000 ; there remained, therefore, only 1,000,000 
for the civil list, the army, the fortresses, the navy, and the 
charge of the central Government. Nothing was left for the 
future development of the country or the creation of a German 
fleet, and the only advantage would be that Germany would possess 
thirty sovereigns instead of twenty-nine. On the other hand, 
annexation with Prussia would extinguish the expense of the 
dvil list, diminish that of the central Government, give Germany 
additional 10,000 combatants in peace and 30,000 in war from 
every million of inhabitants, and make it possible to lay the 
foundations of a German fleet. For these reasons annexation 
would further the interests of the Duchies, of Prussia, and of 

Unfortimately, these facts were unknown or unrecognised by PnugU 
the population. They had sworn allegiance to the Duke of BiUbltoliei 
Augustenburg, whom they regarded as their protector from the g^J'*'^ 
hated domination of the Danes, were satisfied with their local gi^ 
independence, and had no desire to become part of a great nation. 
An address in favour of annexation to Prussia slowly obtained 
300 signatures, but a similar address in favour of Augustenburg 
was speedily signed by 50,000 persons, of whom four-fifths came 
from Holstein. His Highness Duke Frederick VIII. was the 
darling of the people. Austria took advantage of this feeling by 
encouraging the Augustenburg agitation in the Duchies, and 
endeavoured to induce the smaller German States, who were, 
naturally, in favour of it, to bring about a division of the Bimd 
in the same sense. This step was contrary to the agreement of 
January i6th, 1864, and it became necessary for Prussia to do 
something. Therefore, on March 24th, 1865, King William ordered 
the naval station of Prussia to be transferred firom Dantzig to 

Austria, however, pursued her course in spite of the warning Divergenoe 
of Bismarck that they were following gradually diverging lines, of AiutrUn 
The Bund passed a resolution in favour of Augustenbiug, and ?*^^^"***" 
Austria protested against the establishment of the naval station 
at Kiel. Bismarck repUed, somewhat ungraciously, that there 
was no reason why Austria should not follow the Prussians' 
example and transfer their station from Pola to Kiel if it pleased 
them. Bismarck now proposed that the local parliament of 
Schleswig-Holstein should be summoned to discuss the situation, 
but Austria imposed conditions for its meeting which could not 
be accepted. Excitement in the Duchies became more intense^ 



and at last Bismarck found himself obliged to face the question 
of a war with Austria. A Council to discuss the question was 
summoned at Berlm on May 29th, at which the Crown Prince 
Frederick and Moltke were present. The alternative was the 
annexation of Schleswig-Holstein, which would certainly bring 
about a war with Austria, or the recognition of Augustenbuig, 
who was known to be friendly to Prussia and would accept the 
conditions which she proposed. The King was in favour of the 
first course, the Crown Prince of the second. Bismarck was 
convinced that war was inevitable, but did not wish it to take 
place immediately. Ultimately it was decided that no steps 
should be taken likely to provoke war, and that another attempt 
should be made to arrive at an understanding. Austria was not 
anxious for war, and she knew that France was well disposed to 
Ck»T«Btlon Accordingly, prolonged discussions took place in which the 
of emiteliL differences between the two Powers became more and more 
accentuated, imtil at last a compromise was arrived at by the 
Convention of Gastein on August 14th, 1865. This stipulated 
that the territory in dispute should be jointly administered, 
Austria being responsible for Holstein and Prussia for Schleswig, 
Lauenburg being surrendered to Prussia on the pa3mient of a sum 
of money to Austria, while the rights of Augustenbiu'g were left 
undecided. Bismarck was certain that war would eventually 
break out, but accepted the compromise as a temporary expedient. 
He wished, before war broke out, to secure the aUiance of Italy 
and the neutraUty of France. Prussia lost nothing by this 
arrangement, and Austria gained nothing. On the whole, the 
Convention was regarded as a triumph for Bismarck, and it 
brought him some friends in his own country, where the 
opposition to his policy gradually declined. The South German 
democrats called a meeting at Frankfort in October to insist 
upon the investiture of Augustenbiu'g, but it proved a complete 
failure and very few Prussians attended it. Bismarck appeared 
to have the Prussian nation at his back. 

The arrangements come to at Gastein were known in Paris 
some days before their ratification. Mensdorff had given the 
information to Mettemich, and Mettemich had commimicated it 
to Drouyn de I'Huys. PubUc opinion in France was not favom:- 
able to what had been done. Austria and Prussia were accused, 
on the pretext of safeguarding the rights of the poptdation of 
Schleswig-Holstein, of having forcibly wrested the Duchies from 
Denmark and of violating the ancient right of the Duchies to 



personal union. The whole of the Parisian press echoed these 
sentiments, the Revue des Deux Mondes for once agreeing with 
the Revue Contemporaine. 

Goltz, under instructions from Bismarck, did his best to 
remove these feelings, and succeeded so far that the French 
Minister spoke of a possible understanding between France and 
Prussia in case of war, and of the possible compensation which 
France might receive for the aggrandisement of Prussia. There 
can be little doubt that Luxembmrg was hinted at. At the same 
time France joined Great Britain in a public denimciation of the 

Bismarck thought it well to have a personal interview with 
the Emperor, and for this purpose travelled to Biarritz on 
September 30th and stayed there till October 12th. The day after *•?•*•«■• 
his arrival he was received in audience by the Emperor, who asked 
him whether he had given Austria any securities with regard to 
Venice, and Bismarck said decidedly not. He declared he was 
opposed to any step which might bring about a European war, 
and that we must not make opportunities, but let them open of 
themselves. Napoleon then asked how Bismarck proposed to 
arrange the question of the Duchies with Austria ; he replied that 
he would give Austria pecuniary compensation for Holstein, to 
which the Emperor made no objection. With regard to France 
receiving a compensation for the increase of Prussian territory 
through the annexation of the Duchies, Bismarck avowed that 
the addition of a million inhabitants to the existing population 
of Prussia was of no moment, and must rather be regarded as a 
pledge for the fulfilment of the mission which events had imposed 
upon the Prussian State. A strong Prussia would be an assist- 
ance to a friendly France, but a weak Prussia would always be 
seeking for alliances to defend herself against a France of whom 
she was afraid. For further compensation the Emperor expressed 
his conviction that they must await the development of events. 
He hoped the King of Prussia would write to him if any new 
circumstances should arise, and said it was impossible that France 
should ever ally herself with Austria against Prussia. When 
Bismarck returned to Berlin on November 7th he had the firm 
conviction that France would look upon the aggrandisement of 
Prussia with no unfriendly eye, and that no difficulties in the 
development of Prussian policy were to be apprehended from that 

Such is the account of the interview at Biarritz given by 
Sybel in his famous History of the Founding of the German Empire 



under WiUiam /., but a different story is told by Roloff in the 
Cambridge Modern History, He says that Napoleon encouraged 
Bismarck to proceed against Austria, signifying a wish for compen- 
sation should Prussia gain fresh acquisitions from the war. In 
answer to this Bismarck made no promise, but seemed to imply 
that if Prussia improved her position in Germany there would be 
no objection to France's acquiring new territory, obviously either 
in Belgium or on the Rhine. Roloff avers that the Emperor was 
strongly in favour of the aUiance between Prussia and Italy, and 
promised to recommend it in Florence. 
Two Great Both statesmen parted on excellent terms. Napoleon counted 

''•***"^*** on war in Germany, with France, as arbiter, receiving a share of 

the spoils. Bismarck was confident of vanquishing Austria with 
the help of Italy and of then evading the necessity of compen- 
sation to France, Henceforth Bismarck and Napoleon are the 
two protagonists in all European struggles, and a contest, at first 
secret and then open, began between them which finally ended at 



Thb Hegbmoiit of Prussia 

We have seen how Bismarck, by his visit to Biarritz, had assured iuiy*s 
the neutrality of France in the event of war between Prussia and petal to 
Austria. We must now consider how he obtained the aUiance of *"*'*•• 
Italy. Whilst he was still in France the Court of Vienna was 
surprised by a diplomatic offer from La Marmora. As no regular 
diplomatic relations had existed between Austria and Italy since 
1859, I^ Marmora sent Count Malaguizzi of Modena as his envoy. 
He offered to purchase Venetia from the Austrians at the price of 
2,000,000,000 lire, or £80,000,000, to make a favourable commer- 
cial treaty with Austria, and to treat the Pope with consideration. 
Malaguizzi spent two months in Vienna and found that his 
proposals met with favourable consideration. Statesmen doubted 
whether, in view of the hostihty of Prussia, Venetia could remain 
long in their possession, and merchants rubbed their hands at 
the proposal of Free Trade with Italy. The Prime Minister liked 
the prospect of two milliards to restore their shattered finances. 

On the other hand, the clergy were unwilling to have any- BliBuuwk 
thing to do with an excommunicated sovereign. Austrian oflScers »»* Italj- 
r^retted the loss of a pleasant Italian sojourn, and the Emperor 
was personally opposed to this scheme. But how was the Austrian 
deficit to be met ? Count Larisch sought for a loan in Paris, but 
Rothschild positively refused to lend anything, and eventually 
the promise of a large sum was obtained at ruinous interest. 
The offer of Bismarck to purchase the Duchies put an end to the 
matter. Austria had already sold Lauenburg, and the proud old 
Empire was not prepared to barter away one by one the pearls 
of its diadem. The Emperor gave a decided negative to both 
propositions. If Italy desired Venetia, she must fight for it. 
Austria, however, was disposed to treat Italy with consideration 
and to prefer her friendship to that of Prussia, when suddenly 
Prussia acknowledged Victor Emmanuel as King of Italy, a step 
in which she was followed by the whole of the ZoUverein, except- 
ing Hanover and Baden, always devoted to the interests of Austria. 

In the meantime, friction arose between Gablentz, who 
represented Austria and Holstein, and Manteuffel, who was 



BNftki vith 

Prussian Viceroy in Schleswig. During a jonmey from Altona to 
Kiel the Princess of Augustenburg was received everywhere with 
delirious enthusiasm, Gablentz preserving a friendly neutrahty. 
Manteuffel could not put up with this, and remonstrated with 
Gablentz. Bismarck threw himself into the quarrel, and it was 
felt there would be no peace unless Augustenburg left the Duchies. 

Now came the crisis of Bismarck's career. He had long ago 
determined upon creating a new Prussia and a new Germany, but 
how was this to be done ? Should he march hand in hand with 
Austria with a common poUcy, or should Austria be driven from 
the Bund, which would thus remain under the hegemony of 
Prussia ? He could not but recognise the dangers of the second 
course — ^the indignation against Prussia as the destroyer of the 
peace of Europe and the possibiUty of a European war. He was 
wiUing to pursue peaceful methods so long as they were feasible, 
and share with Austria the command of miUtary strength, which 
should direct the destinies of the German Federation to beneficent 
ends. But this course had proved impracticable before, and it 
was impracticable now. The attempt to carry it out in the two 
Duchies had failed, and brought the two Powers to the verge 
of war. To his mind it was plain that he must either submit 
or conquer, and if his ideals were to be reahsed Austria must 
be crushed. On January 13th, 1866, he vnrote to Usedom, in 
Florence, that the arrangements of Gastein had proved unwork- 
able, and that, if a new policy were adopted, he would like to 
know what would be the attitude of Italy. 

Meanwhile, matters continued to grow worse in the Duchies. 
A demonstration in favour of Augustenburg, arranged to take 
place at Altona on January 23rd, was not prevented by Gablentz. 
Four thousand people, including delegates from South Germany, 
met and gave three cheers for their rightful, beloved Prince, 
Duke Frederick. Bismarck and the King were deeply stirred. On 
January 26th Bismarck wrote to Werther, in Vienna, to complain 
of the aggressive pohcy of Austria, and to inform Mensdorff in 
the clearest language that, imless Austria proposed to maintain, 
in every respect, the principles of their common action, Prussia 
must choose by herself the path most conducive to her own 
interests. Mensdorff appreciated the significance of this language, 
but his reply of February 7th was couched in somewhat cold and 
haughty tones, and he denied the right of Prussia to interfere in 
the administration of Holstein, which had been committed to 
Austrian hands. On receipt of this letter Bismarck expressed his 
regret to Karolyi that the relations of Prussia and Austria were 



no longer of that intimate nature which had previously charac- 
terised them. It was clear that the alhance between Prussia and 
Austria was at an end. 

If war with Austria were inevitable after the dispatch of The Kiaf 
February 7th, how was it to be brought about ? The sooner it ^^•w* *• 
was begun and over the better for Prussia ; in this Moltke, Roon *** 
and Hanteuffel were agreed. The King was also convinced that 
war was the only way out of the difficulty, but he felt the full 
responsibility of the decision. All his private relations disposed 
him against a breach with Austria, and equally against an alliance 
with France. But the Court influences in Berlin were not entirely 
on the side of Bismarck, and his conversations with his Sovereign 
must have caused them both very anxious moments. Napoleon 
preserved absolute neutraUty in the event of a war, but he said 
that Prussia was more likely than Austria to consider general 
interests in the case of a change in the pohtical condition of 
Europe. He laughed at the idea of compensating Austria for 
the loss of Venice by giving her the Danubian PrincipaUties. 
Roumania would not like to be absorbed by Austria, and Russia 
would certainly object. 

Although Austria was determined not to surrender Venetia, Biimank 
her growing dishke of Prussia made her better disposed towards ^^^^ ^ 
Italy. At the beginning of January she granted an amnesty to •'"^** 
the pohtical exiles from Venetia and gave the country a more 
Uberal government. Mensdorff told Grammont that Austria was 
ready to extend to the rest of Italy the commercial advantages 
she had already granted to Sardinia, provided France had no 
objection, and Drouyn de THuys willingly gave his consent. But 
La Marmora was, for many reasons, not very anxious to accept 
the offer. Indeed, the poUcy of La Marmora at this time struck 
an uncertain note, and Bismarck began to have doubts how far 
he could be depended upon. 

In these circmnstances King WiUiam summoned a council on 
February 28th, at which, besides Bismarck and the other members 
of the Ministry, the Crown Prince, Goltz, Moltke, Manteuffel and 
Alvensleben were present. The final conclusion was not to hurry 
on a war, but to try once more the effect of diplomatic negotia- 
tions. The King closed the conference by saying that he wished 
for peace ; but that, if war must come, he would not shirk it, as 
be was sure that his cause was righteous. 

It was now necessary to come to terms with France and Italy. 
Goltz went to Paris to discuss matters with Drouyn de THuys 
and the Emperor. The first question was that of compensation. 





Napoleon would not expect anything from the annexation of the 
Duchies, but France would require an equivalent for any further 
extension of Prussian territory, either in Belgium or on the Rhine. 
Bismarck firmly declared that under no consideration would 
German territory be ceded to France, and the matter remained 
undecided, it being understood that France was to preserve a 
friendly neutraUty if war should ensue. Goltz, however, learnt 
the welcome news that Napoleon had agreed with Victor 
Emmanuel to conclude an offensive and defensive aUiance with 
each other. 

On February 24th, 1866, Prince Cusa had been compelled to 
resign the throne of Roumania, and his place was taken by a pro- 
visional Government. This gave an opportunity for compensating 
Austria and obtaining Venetia without war. La Marmora was 
rather in favour of this project, and Govone was sent to Berlin 
with the object of lu-ging the Prussians to declare war in order that 
Austria might be frightened into concluding some arrangement 
of this kind. The project, however, ended in smoke, as Great 
Britain and other European Powers were decidedly opposed to 
it. Austria began to be seriously alarmed, and an Imperial 
Coimcil, held at Vienna between March 7th and i8th, was in 
favour of mobilisation and of placing a northern army on the 
frontiers of Prussia and a southern army on the frontiers of Italy. 
Mensdorff was opposed to any active measures for the present, 
but his anxiety was not reUeved by the following news from 

Countess Hohenthal, while sitting next to Bismarck at dinner 
with the Saxon Ambassador at Berlin, said to him, "Is it really 
true. Excellency, that you are intending to go to war with Austria 
and conquer Saxony ? " 

Bismarck answered, " It is quite true, dearest Countess ; I 
have had no other idea since the first days of my Ministry. Our 
cannon are cast, and you will soon see how superior they are to 
the Austrian artillery." 

" Horrible ! " said the Countess ; " but tell me, I have two 
estates, one in Bohemia, the other in Saxony, near Leipzig ; in 
which would you advise me to take refuge ? " 

'* I would advise you not to go to Bohemia," replied Bismarck ; 
" for we shall beat the Austrians just in the neighboinrhood of 
your property, and you might have some terrible experiences. 
Go quickly to Saxony ; nothing will happen at Leipzig. You will 
even be secinre against billeting, for your house at Knauthagen 
is not on the line of march." 



Bismarck afterwards tried to laugh this away, but Beust took 
it very seriously, and it is well known how the great Chancellor 
embarrassed his secretaries by talking openly about the most 
important secrets. 

At any rate, steps were taken to strengthen the Austrian initrla*! 
garrisons in Bohemia and Moravia. Further, on March i6th, Pwpara- 
Mensdorff asked Bismarck whether he really intended to break **•"■• 
the Convention of Gastein ; and on the same day a circular was 
sent by Austria to the German Governments, telling them what 
had happened, and saying that, if Bismarck gave an unsatisfactory 
answer, the -Diet would be asked to decide about Schleswig- 
Holstein, and, if Prussia resisted, the forces of the Bimd would be 
mobUised, excepting the three army corps which belonged to 
Prussia. Bismarck repUed that, if an answer were expected, he 
must have the question in writing, for to a verbal question he could 
only reply in the negative, as he had received no orders from his 
Sovereign to say anything else. It was also remarked that, while 
Prussia was not arming at all, Austria was massing troops on the 
frontier, which might lead to war, as it had led before. The real 
answer was given by a circidar letter on March 24th, in which 
Prussia asked whether she could depend on the assistance of her 
allies in the event of her being attacked by Austria. 

Eventually a treaty of alliance between Prussia and Italy was Praiso- 
signed on April 8th. Its provisions were that, if the negotiations l*»U»a 
which the King of Prussia was conducting with regard to the "^^ 
reform of the German Federation should come to nothing and he 
were compelled to have recourse to arms, Italy should immediately 
declare war against Austria ; that the war once begun should 
be carried on with energy, and that neither Power should make 
peace without the consent of the other ; that the consent must 
be given if Austria surrendered to Italy the Lombardy Venetian 
kingdom, and to Prussia corresponding territories of similar 
importance ; that the alliance was made for three months, and 
should not come into effect if Prussia had not declared war against 
Austria within that period. Moreover, if the Austrian fleet left 
the Adriatic before the declaration of war, Italy was to send a 
portion of her fleet to the Baltic to act in conjunction with that of 
Prussia. Bismarck thus obtained the assistance of Italy, which 
Moltke, who had been sent to Florence at the beginning of March, 
thought absolutely necessary, and the neutraUty of France and 
the protection of Italy had been secured. Italy did not enter 
into the alliance without great searchings of heart, and was only 
induced to do so by the consideration that its execution depended 




The King 

on the declaration of war by Prussia, a prerogative which the 
King would never let pass out of his hands. 

The alliance with Italy laid upon Bismarck the necessity of 
bringing about war with Austria within three months. Two 
roads lay open to him for this purpose — a project for the reform of 
the Federation, and defence against the military preparations of 
Austria, preparations which could only be met by similar action 
on the part of Prussia. Bismarck's whole action was that of a 
subtle conspirator, which cannot be justified on any abstract 
principle of morality, and can only be defended by overmastering 
considerations of expediency. He had made up his mind, as he had 
told the Coimtess Hohenthal, that the only solution of imminent 
difficulties was to secure the unity of Germany with Prussia at 
its head, and that this could not be effected except by a war with 

Bismarck now had to devote the whole force of his intellect 
and character to the task of goading Austria to war, much as the 
picador in the bullfight goads the reluctant animal to resistance, 
and to persuade his Sovereign, the soul of honour and the possessor 
of a tender conscience, to consent to the means his Minister was 
employing to achieve his ends. Besides this, he had to assure 
Italy of the honesty and straightforwardness of his intentions, 
to prevent her from joining Austria in an attack upon Prussia, 
after the three months were over, if war had not been declared ; 
to preserve the goodwill of France, and yet prevent Napoleon from 
urging his favourite device of a European congress — ^which would 
spoil the whole of Bismarck's plans — and amuse him with dreams 
of compensation, without committing himself to any promise ; to 
keep the smaller German States quiet, and prevent them from 
a sudden warlike union with Austria ; to justify his poUcy for 
the union of Germany and the aggrandisement of his coimtry — 
first, to the public opinion of that country itself, which was by no 
means friendly, and then to the pubUc tribunal of Europe. 

The fulfilment of such a task might seem to transcend human 
powers, and Bismarck had to strain his physical energies to break- 
ing point. Indeed, some calm and unprejudiced observers have 
condemned Bismarck's action, even after its triumphant conclusion, 
as the act of an unprincipled and reckless filibuster, who embroiled 
Europe and set the whole fortunes of his country upon a stake 
which he might lose and could only win by an extraordinary 
combination of good fortime. King William was determined not 
to subject himself to blame of this kind ; it should never be said 
of him that he had forced the hand of Austria by premature 



armament ; and public opinion was on his side. Even those who 
were most opposed to Austria and most in sympathy with the 
objects for which Bismarck was contending were anxious for a 
peaceful solution of the question and afraid of some evil stroke 
from the side of France. At the same time the suspicions of 
Italy were aroused by the backwardness of Prussia in arming 
herself, which was really due to the hesitation of the King. 
Fortunately, Austria, becoming weary, like the baited bull, of 
the maddening ambitions of her neighbours, began to move troops 
in Moravia and Venetia. This induced the King, at the end of 
IHarch, to make some mihtary preparations, but not yet to mobiUse 
his army. 

Bismarck's attempt to bring about war by a proposal to Biimarck*s 
reconstruct the German Federation proved an entire failure. On Change of 
April 9th he brought forward, before the Diet at Frankfort, a 
motion advocating the creation of a strong central authority and 
the representation of the people by universal suffrage. His 
object was to rouse the opposition of Austria, and make himself 
popular in his own country. But it had the opposite effect. The 
Prussian nation refused to support him, because they knew that 
the Minister who was governing without parUamentary control 
over the finances could be no true democrat. Bavaria also was 
opposed to him. Great Britain was hostile, France imsympathetic. 
Indeed, the hollowness of the proposal was generally seen through, 
and Bismarck was compelled to retrace his steps and have recourse 
to other methods. 

At this time mobilisation in Austria would require seven weeks, Amtpia 
in Prussia three, which would give Prussia the advantage of four MobUiiei, 
weeks in b^inning a war. On March 31st Mensdorff wrote to 
Berlin that nothing was further from his mind than an attack 
upon Prussia, both on personal and on pubUc groimds. Bismarck 
repUed, on April 4th, that the concentration of troops by Austria 
on the frontier of Prussia had compelled him to make correspond- 
ing preparations for defence. This produced an uncomfortable 
feeling in Vienna, and on April 8th a mihtary conference deter- 
mined on the raising of 85,000 troops. The proposal of Prussia 
for the reform of the Bimd, which we have already mentioned, 
increased the feeling of imeasiness, and the pressure of the Austrian 
generals became more intense and the resistance of Mensdorff 
weaker. On April 13th Austria armed her northern fortresses, 
next day recalled her reservists and the soldiers on leave and 
purchased horses, and on April 15th mobiUsed a northern and a 
southern army. Then followed proposals for mutual disarmament, 




and the friends of peace hoped that before the end of April all 
danger would have passed away. At this very moment news 
arrived at Vienna that Italy was arming, and had mobilised a 
force of 100,000 men. This was entirely without foimdation, as 
all that had been done was in accordance with the usual practice ; 
indeed, La Marmora was much disturbed by the apparent quies- 
cence of Prussia, and determined to take no steps for mobilisation 
a day before his ally. 
Italy Pre- However, the war party had gained the ascendancy. On 
'•' April 21 St a council of war decided to mobilise the Austrian army 
on a large scale. Archduke Albert was given command of the 
southern and Benedek of the northern army. The Finance 
Minister, although at his wits' end for money, contracted a new 
loan for ;£6o,ooo,ooo, and unn^otiable paper money was created 
to the extent of £115,000,000. The financial pressure became so 
great that Austria could not wait for peace ; it was necessary she 
should force a definite declaration of Prussian poUcy with respect 
to the Duchies and Venetia. On April 26th Austria proposed that 
the question of Schleswig-Holstein should be left to the decision 
of the Bund, and Mensdorff wrote on the same day to France that 
he would surrender Venetia to Italy if France and Italy remained 
neutral while the Austrians reconquered Schleswig. The answer 
to this was the mobilisation of the whole Italian army, to the 
inexpressible joy of the nation. Party conflicts were forgotten, 
and the enthusiasm of the people flowed out in a imited stream 
towards war with the hated Austrians for the hberation of Venice. 
Oemuuiy Prussia, however, still held back, and it was not until the 

*"■*■<• beginning of May that the complete mobilisation of the army 
was decided upon at Berlin. This was foUowed by the smaller 
German States, first Saxony, then Bavaria, and then Wiirtem- 
berg, Darmstadt and Nassau. The delay in the mobilisation of 
the Prussian army arose from two causes — the King's reluctance to 
go to war, and the existence of foreign complications. On April 
25th Goltz reported a conversation with Napoleon, in which the 
Emperor had referred to the idea of a European congress which 
he had first proposed in 1863. The difficulty lay in the settle- 
ment of a compensation for France. The Emperor said, " If you 
had a Savoy, ever3^1iing would be easy." On May 2nd a formal 
proposal to take part in a congress was made by Benedetti at 
Berlin. Bismarck believed the congress would produce discord 
and not peace, but did not refuse to take part in it, but wished, 
as a preUminary, to have a clear understanding with France. 
The Emperor did not agree with this, which he said would create 



confusion in Europe ; but he told Goltz at a court ball that 
Austria had offered him the Rhine frontier as the price of an 
alliance, and he wished that Prussia would do likewise. Bismarck 
doubted whether Goltz's information was trustworthy, and we 
do not know what offer had actually been made by Austria, but 
it is certain that he regarded the possession of Venetia by Italy 
as necessary for the security of peace in Europe. At the same 
time the national feeling of France was strongly opposed to the 
creation of a united Germany. 

On May 5th the Emperor told Nigra, the ItaUan Ambassador AngtrUa 
in Paris, that Austria was ready to surrender Venetia as soon as Tenni for 
she became mistress of Schleswig, but that Venetia would be given *^%^!^!" 
to the Emperor, who would then make it over to Italy, and that 
Italy would pay Austria a certain sum, which would enable her 
to fortify her new possessions. He asked whether it was possible 
for Italy to give up her connection with Prussia. There was, 
indeed, some possibihty of this, because, although Bismarck had 
declared that he was personally prepared to defend Italy against 
an attack by Austria, he was not bound to do so by the terms of 
the treaty. Nigra replied, according to the instructions of La 
Marmora, that Italy could not honourably desert her ally, but 
that the treaty would end on July 8th, and that after that Italy 
would be free to act as she pleased. 

On May 21st Bismarck made a final proposal for peace with BinnaNk*! 
Austria. The Duchies should be imited under the government of "Tw™* '«' 
Prince Albert of Prussia, Diippel and Sonderburg being sur- ^^^^^ 
rendered to the Prussian kingdom ; Prussia and Austria were to 
undertake the common work of the reform of the Confederation ; 
a common army should be formed with similar organisation and 
discipline, Prussia commanding in the north, Austria in the south ; 
and in order to complete these arrangements, the smaller German 
sovereigns and the representatives of the free towns should meet 
at Weimar. This offer was approved of by the King. However, 
the propositions were not well received by the smaller States, and 
eventuaUy Mensdorff wrote, on May 28th, that he was sorry that 
the strained relations between the two countries did not admit of 
friendly negotiations, but that he hoped that matters might 

At this time the Emperor Napoleon was in great embarrass- Napoleon*! 
ment. Public opinion in France was opposed to the warlike Bmbawaii- 
tendencies of Prussia. But peace in Germany meant the retention "*"*• 
of Venetia by Austria, and this entailed the sacrifice of his dearest 
wishes and perhaps the explosion of more bombs. He therefore 



Ttani for 


harked back to his idea of a congress, in his heart he desired to 
abrogate the arrangements of the Treaty of Vienna by the creation 
of a new European tribunal, but he had neither the strength of 
mind nor the firnmess of body to carry this out with vigour, and 
he therefore had resort to temporary expedients and a tortuous 
poUcy. His plan now was to give the Duchies to Prussia, and 
compensate Austria for the loss of Venetia by the absorption of 
Silesia. Prussia was to be enlarged by Saxony and some other 
German territories, and be the head of North Germany. The 
southern and middle German States were to form a federation, 
not under Austria, but attached by ties of gratitude to France. 
The left bank of the Rhine, from Alsace to Holland, was to form 
a neutral State on the model of Belgium, which would be a 
reconstruction of the Confederation of the Rhine. If the negotia- 
tions for the congress were spun out beyond July 8th, Italy would 
be free to act as she pleased. Bismarck would not accept these 
proposals, and Italy was reluctant to do so, because she feared 
that Napoleon was not in favoiu: of a united Italy, but would 
prefer to have a Murat in Naples, Prince Napoleon in Tuscany, 
and a reigning Pope in Rome. 

In the meantime official invitations to the congress were sent 
to the European Powers and acknowledged before June 7th. 
Austria declined the congress and took the important step of 
summoning the Bund to settle the difficulties in Germany. This 
was tantamoimt to a declaration of war, because it was certain 
that the Bund would give its verdict against Prussia, and that 
Prussia would resist. Napoleon now made an arrangement with 
Vienna on the terms that France shoiild remain neutral, that the 
Emperor should do his best to secure the neutrality of Italy, that 
Venetia should be surrendered in exchange for Silesia, and that 
France should receive some compensation on the Rhine. It is clear 
that this agreement, which was signed on June 12th, would be a 
hiuniUation for Prussia, since it must effectually prevent the unity 
of Germany and the unity of Italy. 

From this moment war was certain. On June 3rd Bismarck 
annotmced to the Court at Vienna that he r^arded the reference 
of the questions in dispute to the Bund as a breach of the 
Convention of Gastein. He also declared to the Federal Diet that 
Schleswig had nothing to do with the Bund, and that it was part 
of the arrangements of January i6th, 1864, that the affairs of 
the Duchies should be settled by mutual consent between Prussia 
and Austria. Austria now asked the Bund to arm against Prussia, 
because she had violated the Treaty of Gastein, foigetting that 


the treaty had been concluded between Austria and Prussia acting 
as great European Powers and not as members of the Federation. 
Bismarck was, in fact, rather pleased at this turn of affairs, because 
it put Austria more decidedly in the wrong. 

Diplomatic relations were now interrupted. On June 12th Potltloii of 
Austria recalled Count Karolyi from Berlin, and Baron Werther *!»• 8™»U« 
asked for his passports in Vienna. On the same day Bismarck sent 
a note to the Prussian representatives in Germany that he should 
r^ard the acceptance of the Austrian proposal by the Bimd as a 
declaration of war. He also laid before the King a plan of mihtary 
operations, formed on the alternative suppositions that the smaller 
German States remained neutral and that they did not. The lot 
of these States was not a happy one : they were willing to light 
the match but did not wish to be blown up by the explosion which 
would follow. 

At last June 14th arrived, the day on which the resolution of Pnuwla 
the Bund was to be taken. In the voting Austria accepted the ^**^** 
proposal, Prussia protested against it. Bavaria, Saxony and federatiwi. 
Darmstadt voted for the proposal, so far as it impUed an arrange- 
ment for the preservation of peace, but did not consider that the 
breach of the Convention of Gastein was a suflftcient reason for 
war. Hanover agreed to this, but thought that no federal 
general should be appointed for the present. Wiirtemberg fol- 
lowed Austria, Baden stood aloof. The Elector of Hesse agreed 
with Austria ; but Hanover, Luxemburg and the Saxon Duchies 
were against the proposal. When the votes had been given, the 
President declared that the amendment of Bavaria for a limited 
interference had been carried by nine to six. The representative 
of Prussia then said that the introduction, let alone the passing, 
of this proposal was in contradiction of the fundamental laws of 
the Bimd, and the Emperor of Austria could not be regarded as 
a member of the Bund for Holstein. He said that his master, the 
King, now regarded the Confederation as dissolved, and would 
attempt to make a new combination to accomplish the unity of 
Germany. The President declared, in answer, that it was 
impossible for Prussia to dissolve the Federation, and that it 
would continue to do its work as before. When the King was 
informed of what had passed, he recalled his ambassadors from 
Dresden, Hanover and Cassel, and orders were given to the great 
army to b^in an immediate attack upon Bohemia. 

The war having broken out, the Austrians determined to Thelmtrian 
assemble their troops in the neighbourhood of Olmiitz in Moravia, Fopoei, 
where six army corps were gradually collected. Three divisions of 
h 97 






cavalry were already in Bohemia, and a fourth had been sent in 
advance to Austrian Silesia. The whole strength of the Anstrians 
amounted to 238,000 men, which was afterwards increased by 
23,000 from Saxony. There were, however, certain defects. 
Financial difficulties had prevented her from keeping her army 
in a high condition of strength and efficiency, and a large propor- 
tion of the soldiers had only been trained for a year. They were 
also lacking in culture and education, and were, in this respect, far 
behind the Prussian troops. In arms the Austrians had nothing 
to compare with the needle-gun of their adversaries, and were 
not likely to be effective with the bayonet, which in these years 
was often decisive in a battle. On June i6th the army collected 
at Olmiitz comprised 174,000 infantry, and Benedek, the Com- 
mander-in-Chief, thought he could not depend on more than 
158,000, which would give the Prussians an advantage of 
more than 40,000. The armies of the smaller German States 
were also in a most unsatisfactory condition. 

The Prussian forces were divided into three armies : one in 
Silesia, called the Second Army, under the command of the Crown 
Prince, 111,000 strong; the First Army, under Prince Frederick 
Charles, 93,000 strong ; and the Elbe Army, 46,000 strong, under 
Herwarth von Bittenfeld. Another army never engaged the 
enemy, being used for garrison purposes. The whole Prussian 
force amounted to 263,000 men, as opposed to the Austrian 
total of 261,000. 

On the morning of June 15th Schulenburg, the Prussian 
Minister in Saxony, asked Beust, the Saxon Prime Minister, to 
make an aUiance with Prussia, on the conditions that her troops 
should be placed upon a peace footing, and that a Parliament 
should be summoned, whereupon Prussia would guarantee her 
sovereignty on the basis of the reform proposals of June loth. An 
answer was to be given in the course of the day, and a 
refusal would be regarded as a declaration of war. The Saxons 
had already made preparations, and 36,000,000 thalers had been 
safely deposited in Munich. The answer was not doubtful : 
Saxony could not disarm without an order of the Diet. In 
the evening Schulenberg commimicated the declaration of war 
privately to the King, and at the same moment Herwarth von 
Bittenfeld's battaUons crossed the frontier ; Beust immediately 
demanded the assistance of the Bund, especially of Austria and 
Bavaria. But Benedek was at Olmiitz, and the Bavarian troops 
were not yet assembled, so King John, the first Dante scholar in 
Europe, retired to Pima, and then led his troops across the 



mountains into Bohemia. Dresden was occupied by the Prussians 
without resistance on June i8th, and the whole country submitted 
quietly to Prussian domination. 

In Electoral Hesse the Government had ordered the mobilisa- 
tion of its army corps on June 14th, and summoned the Parlia- ^^^ort^ kJ 
ment in order to provide the money. The Parliament, however, 
refused supplies, and demanded the reversal of the mobilisation 
and the preservation of complete neutrality. At this moment 
Roder appeared to lay the Prussian ultimatum before the 
Hessian Minister, who referred him to the Elector. The Prince 
received him ungraciously, and refused to give a decided answer ; 
but all idea of mobilisation was at an end. The Hessian troops 
retired, in order that they might not come into conflict with the 
Prussians, and made an abortive attempt to carry off the treasiure. 
In the evening the Elector declined to give an answer. Roder 
declared war, and Beyer advanced into Hesse from Wetzlar and 
reached Cassel on June 19th. The Elector stayed at Wilhelmshohe 
and refused to recognise the declaration of war. He was regarded 
as a prisoner, and was removed, first to Minden and then to the 
castle at Stettin, where he was treated with royal honours. Hesse 
was then administered by Beyer. 

In Hanover, King George had no idea of acceding to the HanoTar 
demands of Prussia, or of submitting to an unarmed neutrality. Occuplad. 
He summoned a council of Ministers, to whom he repeated his 
determination to be neutral, but said that it would be dishonour- 
able to recall the mobilisation which had already been ordered, 
and degrading to sacrifice his divine right to Prussian projects 
of reform. His Ministry agreed with him, which, of course, meant 
a declaration of war. Orders were sent to all soldiers to return to 
Gdttingen, in the southern half of the kingdom, and at a meeting 
of the Chambers Benningten proposed the dismissal of the present 
Ministry and the declaration of complete neutrality. The people, 
however, were excited by the news that the Prussians were already 
in Harbiurg. The King endeavoured to temporise, but Ysenburg 
was firm and declared war, and King George set out to join his 
troops at Gottingen. Two hours later Manteuffel crossed the 
Elbe, and Falkenstein was on the march to Hanover, which he 
reached on June 17th. 

There could not be a greater contrast than the activity Capitiilmtira 
and determination of the Prussians and the vacillation of their •' *^ 
opponents. Within three daj^ three kingdoms which could •"•'^•™"** 
supply 75,000 men to the federal army were occupied by Prussia. 
In Gdttingen the King took command of his troops ; but, being 



blind, had to depend on Tscherschiitz, his adjutant. He pressed 
for a further advance to the south to join the Bavarians, but the 
army was not in a condition to proceed. At last they reached 
Langensalza on June 23rd ; here an armistice was arranged by 
the Duke of Gotha, which might have led to a peaceful conclu- 
sion. King William, who was unwilling to make war against his 
friend and brother, offered most honourable terms, which King 
George, after considerable dehberation, refused to accept. His 
answer cost him his crown. Eventually a battle took place at 
Langensalza, which resulted in the defeat of the Prussians. They 
lost 170 dead, 600 wounded, and 900 prisoners, while the 
Hanoverian losses were 400 dead and 1,000 wounded. The 
battle, however, was of Uttle use. The victors found themselves 
siuTounded by 40,000 Prussians, deserted by the Bavarians, and 
without food or shelter ; so, on June 29th, a capitulation took 
place, which made the Prussians master of the whole country and 
the munitions of war it contained. King WiUiam respected the 
brave resistance of the Hanoverian army and allowed the King 
and the Crown Prince to choose any place of residence which kept 
them outside Hanover. They went first to Vienna and took up 
their abode in Hietzing, the Queen remaining in Hessenhausen 
under Prussian protection. Hanover was incorporated with 
Prussia, much to its advantage, and the rivalry between the 
Houses of Guelph and Hohenzollem, which had lasted for many 
centuries and exercised a great influence over German history, 
came to an end. The Guelphs reigned in Great Britain, but wholly 
lost their power in the country of their origin. 
Itellan There was great joy in Italy at the news of the outbreak of 

BBthmiMm. ^j^g ^^ between Austria and Prussia. The enthusiasm spread 

throughout all parts of the nation, and NeapoUtans, Tuscans, 
Piedmontese, Lombards and Romagnols ranged themselves 
under the Itahan tricoloiu:. The troops were numerous if their 
quahty was not high ; they formed twenty divisions, each of 
nearly 12,000 men, so that the total was not less than 240,000. 
The larger portion was in Lombardy imder the command of the 
King, with La Marmora as chief of the staff ; the smaller on the 
Lower Po, near Bologna and Ferrara, imder Cialdini. Besides 
this, there was a body of volunteers numbering 15,000 xmder 
Garibaldi, which was afterwards increased to 35,000. In addition 
we must reckon about 150,000 troops as a reserve. 

Opposed to this ponderous and motley host the Austrians 
could only muster 82,000 men, of whom 30,000 were needed for the 
protection of the Quadrilateral, while 13,000 were required to 



cover southern Tyrol, and 16,000 were needed for Istria and Fiali. 
Archduke Albert had to deal with an enemy whose forces were 
twice or three times as numerous as his own, and the Italians 
looked forward to a certain victory. 

La Marmora, however, was disposed to be cautious, and not La 
commit himself to a dangerous adventure. He knew that the Mwpmw*** 
Austrians were ready to surrender Venetia if they could only 
defeat the Prussians, and that, if he could wait, the fruit would 
&dl into his hands, and still more readily if the Austrians could 
gain some slight advantage. For these reasons he was unwilling 
to submit to the advice of Prussian strategists, who were naturally 
anxious to offer it. It was impossible for Moltke to leave Berlin 
at this important crisis, and so Bemhardi was sent, a man equally 
renowned as a general and an historian. 

Venetia was bounded on the north by the Alps, on the south Pl«ii 'op 
to a great extent by the Po, on the west by the Mincio. Behind 5^^*^"* 
these two rivers flows the Adige, first to the south, parallel with 
the Mincio, and then to the east, parallel with the Po. In the 
north, Venetia was defended by the famous Quadrilateral, formed 
by four fortresses, Peschiera and Mantua on the Mincio, Verona 
and L^nago on the Adige. A doubt arose as to the side from 
which Venetia should be attacked — ^from Milan on the west, or from 
Bologna and Ferrara on the south. The passage over the Mincio 
was easier than that over the Adige, but the invaders would be 
immediately stopped by the four formidable fortresses, and if the 
enemy retired they could fight from river to river. If the attack 
came from the south, the Austrians would be cut off from Venice 
and Trieste, from Laibach and Vienna, and be compelled either to 
shut themselves up in the Quadrilateral, or make a difiicult march 
through Tyrol. Moltke had no hesitation in recommending the 
southern attack, so as to press the Austrians in the rear, drive 
them into Tyrol, and give the lead to the Prussians in the neigh- 
bourhood of Linz. Simultaneously with this movement, a demon- 
stration might be made on the Mincio. There was also an idea 
of rousing the discontented Liberals of Hungary against their 
Austrian oppressors, and of sending Garibaldi to Hungary for this 
purpose, with 35,000 volunteers, by way of Dalmatia and Trieste. 
Money would be suppUed by Prussia and Italy. 

La Marmora did not look forward to Bernhardi's visit with 
enthusiasm. No doubt at this moment there was great divergence 
between the designs of Prussia and Italy. The Prussians desired 
to crush the Austrians, and for this piurpose were anxious for a 
strong attack on the side of Italy, which must seriously injure 



•f War. 


Attafik on 

Austrian operations on the north. But La Marmora limited his 
outlook to the possession of Venetia. The Emperor Napoleon also 
was opposed to violent measures, while the British Government 
dreaded revolutionary movements in Hungary, which might 
spread in other directions, and it is supposed that other secret 
influences were at work in the background. Therefore, when 
Bemhardi strongly urged an advance from the Po, and the send- 
ing of Garidaldi across the Adriatic into Dalmatia, La Marmora 
set himself obstinately against it and contented himself with opera- 
tions which had Alessandria as their base and the conquest of the 
Quadrilateral as their objective. In fact, he did precisely what 
Austria would wish him to do. 

La Marmora now resigned his office as Prime Minister, and 
his place was taken by Ricasoli, a man of very different stamp, 
who was quite ready to carry on the war with vigour, desiring 
the Uberation of Italy not only from the Austrians, but from the 
French. He was prepared to conduct the campaign from the 
Po to the Danube, and send Garibaldi to rouse Hungary to rebellion, 
and wrote to La Marmora to that effect. But La Marmora, after 
reading the letter with disgust, put it into his pocket and said 
nothing to anyone. He was, indeed, embittered against Prussia. 
Cialdini was strongly in favour of an advance from the Po, so that 
the relations of Ricasoli with the two generals were somewhat 
strained. The King, however, could not effect a settlement 
between them, and it was decided that Cialdini should cross the Po 
with eight divisions and La Marmora the Mincio with twelve. On 
June 20th La Marmora sent a declaration of war to Archduke 
Albert, and said that operations would begin in three days. To 
this commimication no answer was returned* 

Archduke Albert was well informed of what was passing in 
the camp of the enemy, and was aware that the chief attack would 
be made by the King on the Mincio. He disposed of his 82,000 
men in a workmanlike manner, placing his main force so as to be 
within two days' march of both the Mincio and the Po, and allotting 
small bodies for the defence of both rivers. La Marmora announced 
that he intended to spring into the middle of the Quadrilateral, 
establish himself there, and proceed with the investment of 
Peschiera or one of the other fortresses. What his later designs 
were remained a secret in his own bosom. 

The struggle took place at Custozza, the battlefield of which 
we will describe. The Mincio, on leaving the Lake Garda at 
Peschiera, flows southwards towards Mantua and the Po. At 
Valeggio, five or six miles from Peschiera, it reaches a hilly country. 



marked by conspicuous heights — ^Monte Vento, Custozza, where 
Radetzky defeated the Piedmontese in 1848, and Monte della 
Croce. Eastward from Valeggio on the plain Ues Villafranca, 
where the peace of 1859 was concluded, and northward of this 
lies Somma Campagna, also on the edge of the plain. This was 
the country into which La Marmora proposed to make his spring. 
He had under him 140,000 men, twice the strength of the enemy, 
in twelve divisions. 

In the early morning of June 23rd, 1866, he crossed the Mindo lutila 
at four different points, but met very few of the enemy, whom he Fj"^. 
beUeved to be behind the Adige. He therefore continued his 
march through the hilly coimtry towards Verona, as if he were 
in a time of peace. Archduke Albert was well informed of La 
Marmora's movements, and knew the latter could receive no 
assistance from Cialdini for several days. He therefore collected 
his troops on the right bank of the Adige, with the design of 
marching westwards towards Somma Campagna, then turning 
south to march through the hilly country and attack the enemy 
where he could find them. He began this movement on June 
23rd, and continued it on the following day. The ItaUans marched 
on towards Verona without the slightest notion that an enemy 
was on their flank. When La Marmora reached Villafranca, 
Prince Humbert asked him whether the soldiers might rest or 
whether they should first reconnoitre to look for the enemy. 
La Marmora rephed that there was not one Austrian on the 
western side of the Adige, and that they might rest in peace. 
Hearing a cannonade on their left, the general remarked that 
it was the beginning of the siege of Peschiera. 

At that moment an Austrian brigade attacked them, and Ia 
La Marmora became aware that he had to do with the whole of J^**** 


the Austrian army detailed for the ItaUan campaign, and that 
the cannonade he had heard was part of the general attack. He 
would have been completely defeated had not Pianell, contrary 
to orders, marched with twelve battahons towards the sound 
of the guns and saved him from disaster. As it was, the left wing 
was entirely broken, but the right wing still held out. Their 
superior numbers gave the Italians great advantage, and, with 
proper management, they might have resisted the Archduke Albert 
and forced him to retreat. But at the crisis, when the presence 
of the commander-in-chief was necessary. La Marmora was not 
to be found, Pianell, Bixio and the Crown Prince seeking for 
him everywhere in vain. It appeared that he had imagined 
that the day was lost and had ordered the retreat, first setting the 






In DmdeiL 

example himself. It is said that he had mistaken the dark forms 
of a number of baggage-wagons for the approach of the enemy 
in his rear. The generals could do nothing without orders, and 
the Italians suffered a crushing defeat. The fact was that more 
than half of their troops were never engaged at all, and the battle 
took place between 82,000 Austrians and 60,000 of the enemy. 
The news of the victory was received with enthusiasm in Vienna, 
and caused corresponding depression in Italy. It was true, how- 
ever, that the Austrians, having gained a victory, would become 
more disposed to surrender Venetia than if they had been defeated. 
It was, indeed, suggested that La Marmora had submitted to the 
disaster on purpose, in order that the Austrians might retreat 
from Venetia without loss of honour. This, however, will not 
bear investigation, and the better judgment is that La Marmora's 
defeat was due to his own incompetence, whatever may have 
been the advantage his country eventually derived from it. 

In their struggle with the Austrians possession of Saxony 
gave the Prussians the advantage of being able to make a con- 
centrated advance of the three armies against the frontier passes 
and a speedy imion of their forces in Bohemia. The operations 
were carried out with a masterly swiftness, although the Prussians 
had the disadvantage of attacking with bodies at considerable 
distances from each other, while the Austrians could choose their 
positions for defence. Benedek had collected his forces between 
Theresienstadt, Prague, Josefstadt and Pardubitz, with the idea 
of making an attack on Prussia, supported by Bavaria and the 
smaller German States on his flank, but he was prevented from 
doing this by the energy of the Prussian advance. The Viennese 
newspapers predicted the speedy reconquest of Saxony, an advance 
towards Berlin, and the dictation of peace in the Prussian capital ; 
and in many parts of Europe, especially in England, the opinion 
prevailed that the Prussians could offer no effective resistance to 
the Austrian troops. 

It had been arranged that Saxony should be invaded by two 
corps, the Army of the Elbe and the First Army, one advancing 
from the north, the other from the east. The Saxon army began 
its retreat on the evening of June ist, proceeding towards Bohemia 
by way of Bodenbach, in order to join the Austrians. The two 
Prussian armies converging on Dresden entered this capital without 
opposition on the afternoon of June i8th, and in two days the 
country was occupied, with the exception of the fortress of Konig- 
stein, in which the royal treasure and papers were deposited. 
Eye-witnesses relate that the Prussian troops were well received 



by the population, and that, had it not been for the swords and 
bayonets of patrols which glittered in the sun along every road, 
the scene would have been one of perfect peace. The soldiers 
helped the peasants to carry in the hay harvest, worked in the 
cottage gardens, and made ptu"chases in the village shops ; bare- 
l^ged country urchins got rides on the cavalry and artillery 
horses as they went to be watered, and were invited to peep into 
the muzzles of rifled guns, and only when some adventurous child 
ventured to put a handful of cornflowers in the mouth of a cannon 
was he turned off the battery by the sentry. Passenger traffic 
on the railways was soon resumed, and telegraphic messages were 
regularly deUvered. 

The occupation of Saxony enabled the Prussians to attack The 
the Austrians on a narrow front if they came out of the mountains, ^''w***"" 
and rendered the invasion of Bohemia not only possible, but easy. B<Aeiia, 
The Austrians had not been prepared for the celerity of the Prussian 
movements. Benedek had concentrated his army with a view 
to strike a deadly blow at the heart of the Prussian kingdom, 
supported on the flank by the Bavarians and the other troops of 
the Federation. But his plans had been dislocated. Instead of 
Austria setting Saxony free by a rapid march and dictating peace in 
Berlin, the field-marshal saw the Prussian armies march through 
the passes in the mountains into north-eastern Bohemia. The 
Austrians were sadly deficient in the spirit and energy of the 
Prussians, their armies were inefficiently equipped, and their com- 
manders were without any clear plans. At the same time the 
northern army of the combined Austrians and Saxons was nearly 
equal in strength to the forces of Prussia, and, when the forces 
of the Confederation joined them, would be greatly superior. 
Moreover, Baden, which had at first determined to remain neutral, 
was forced by pubUc opinion to join the Austrians, finding that 
if she stood aloof her territory might be treated as a convenient 
object of compensation, and her adhesion gave the Austrians an 
additional force of 15,000 men. 

The fate of Germany was decided in an irregular square of Scene of tke 
territory enclosed by the Sudetian mountains and the higher Conflict 
waters of the Iser and Elbe. Prince Frederick Charles, on his 
march to join the Silesian army, passed along the southern foot 
of the Riesengebirge, one of the four ranges by which Bohemia 
is enclosed, and soon reached the western bank of the Iser. On 
the other hand, the Crown Prince, on his way to Bohemia, must 
pass through the Sudetian mountains and the county of Glatz, and 
would reach the eastern bank of the upper Elbe, and so form 





Fight at 

his junction with Prince Frederick Charles. In order that the 
two armies might miite, both rivers must be passed, and the passage 
of both was defended. The harder task fell to the Silesian army, 
for the Iser was only defended by 60,000 men, the Elbe by 200,000. 
On June 22nd a telegram was sent to the two commanders ordering 
them to march into Bohemia and join forces in the neighbourhood 
of Gitschin, a town at an equal distance from the two rivers. 
Moltke, at the same time, left the generals free to act according 
to their own judgment, in case the operations of the enemy were 
different from what he expected. 

On June 22nd Prince Frederick Charles took up his quarters 
at Gorhtz and marched towards the Austrian frontier by the two 
roads leading through Zittau and Seidenberg, Bohemia being 
entered on the following day. At the same time Herwarth von 
Bittenfeld, in command of the Army of the Elbe, marched on the 
high road from Schelucheim to Rumburg, and occupied Reichen- 
berg on June 24th. The position of this place enabled Prince 
Frederick Charles to open communication with the Silesian and 
Saxon Unes of railway, which were of great importance for the 
commissariat. The first engagement of any importance took 
place at Podol upon the Iser, here about a hundred yards wide. 
The battle did not begin till eight in the evening, when darkness 
was coming on, and it was not finished till midnight, every house 
in the village being obstinately disputed. At last both the town 
bridge and the military bridge were captured by the Prussians, 
and the Austrians drew off sullenly on the road to Miinchengratz. 
The last dropping shots did not cease till daybreak, when there 
were no Austrians within three miles of the bridges except the 
wounded and the prisoners. No artillery was engaged on either 
side, and the Prussians owed much of their success to their 
needle-guns. By the retreat of the Austrians to Miinchengratz, 
commimications were opened between the army of Prince Frederick 
Charles and that of the Elbe, and on the following day the two 
forces were able to take possession of the whole hne of the Iser. 
Miinchengratz was not gained without a struggle, but Prince 
Frederick Charles, by a series of tactical movements, and the loss 
of only a hundred men, gained twelve miles of country, captured 
1,000 prisoners, and effected a more complete junction with the 
army of Bittenfeld, the headquarters of both generals being 
established in the same town. 

More serious was the conflict at Gitschin, the place originally 
designated by Moltke as the meeting-place of the two armies, 
about twenty miles from Miinchengratz. The Austrians were 



strongly posted, their artillery and sharpshooters being carefully 
placed, but their young soldiers were slowly and steadily driven 
back by the heavier and more matiure troops of the Prussians. 
At night b^an an attack on the Austrians and Saxons who occupied 
the town, a night full of horror and terror. It is said that even 
the inhabitants took part in this untimely struggle, which was 
carried on in the dark and narrow streets. When day dawned 
the Austrians were in retreat, and the blood-stained town, with 
the streets choked up with corpses, fell into the hands of the 
Pmssians, a dearly-won possession, but of decisive importance 
for the success of the whole campaign. Another conflict took place 
on the same evening on the other side of the town, where the 
Prussians were advancing from the direction of Tiumau. In this 
part of the battle the loss of the Saxons was very heavy, and the 
Prussians also suffered severely, for they had to carry a strong 
position held by a superior force. The Prussian headquarters 
were now established at Gitschin, and in the afternoon of Jime 
30th commimications were opened between the army of Prince 
Frederick Charles and that of the Crown Prince of Prussia, who 
was advancing by Amau. 

The Crown Prince's army had crossed the Austrian frontier ibe feova 
on the evening of June 26th, his first action taking place at Trautenau Prinoe'i 
on the following day, in which battle the Prussians lost 63 officers **'»»••• 
and 1,214 men, the Austrians 196 officers and 5,530 men. The 
Austrians gained the victory, which was, however, of very Uttle 
use to them, as the balance was redressed by an action at Soor, 
which allowed the two portions of the Prussian army to unite, 
while Gablentz, the Austrian general, retreated to Koniginhof. 
This town was captured on Jime 29th, after a severe contest, 
each yard of every street and each window of every house being 
stoutly defended. While this was going on, the left colunms 
of the Crown Prince's army rushed through the passes of the 
Riesengebirge from Glatz to Nachod, along a narrow road through 
a difficult defile, the coliunn of march being twenty miles in length. 
This defile was defended by the Austrians in front of SkaUtz, but 
after an obstinate struggle they were driven back by Steinmetz, 
who had fought in the War of Liberation, the Crown Prince being 
also present in person. Another battle took place at Skahtz itself 
and another at Schweinschadel on the following day, which enabled 
the Crown Prince to concentrate his army on the left bank of 
the Elbe, and, on the last day of the month, as we have seen, 
communications were opened between the two main branches of 
the Prussian army. 



CoMtema- Benedek now telegraphed to Vienna that, in consequence of 
^^^ the complete defeat of the first corps and the Saxon corps, he 
was compelled to withdraw his army to Koniggratz. This dispatch 
came upon the Viennese public as a thunderbolt from a clear sky. 
They had, up to that moment, been confident of victory. After 
Skalitz Benedek announced that Ramming had escaped all dangers 
and arrived safely and happily at Skalitz. Then came the news 
of the victory of Gablentz at Trautenau, and then a short tel^;ram 
from Benedek from Skalitz saying that nothing serious was likely 
to happen there, and that the artillery had shown itself efficient 
as usual. The newspapers disseminated this joyftd intelligence, 
and throughout Europe there was a cry of victory all along the 
Une. Suddenly came the alarming revelation of complete defeat 
and retreat to Koniggratz. The exaltation of seven months only 
made the depression more severe. 
BeiMdek'i At this period King WiUiam arrived at Reichenberg and took 

Ippeal for command of the army. He left Berlin on June 30th, accompanied 
by Bismarck, Roon and Moltke. He had heard of the success 
at Skahtz, but not of the victory at Gitschin. The Prussian armies 
were now united at Horsitz and Jaromierz, and the King moved 
his quarters first to Sichrow, and then to Gitschin. Benedek reached 
Koniggratz on Jxily ist, and before midday telegraphed to the 
Emperor, b^ging him to make peace at all hazards, as the defeat 
of the army was certain. In answer to this two telegrams were 
sent, one to the Emperor Napoleon, saying that the Austrians 
were prepared to surrender Venetia if the neutrality of Italy were 
guaranteed, the other to Benedek, " Impossible to make peace. I 
command a retreat in perfect order if such step is unavoidable. 
Has a battle already taken place ? " 
Beaadek's Benedek imderstood from this that the Emperor desired a 

RMolTe. battle, but allowed retreat in case of necessity. In the course of 
the night he sent another telegram to the Emperor that he intended 
to let the army rest for the next day, that he could not stay where 
he was because there was no water, that he should retreat to 
Pardubitz on July 3rd, that if he could depend upon the troops 
he would fight a battle, but that he intended to take the troops 
back to Olmiitz as soon as possible. Finally, he sent another 
dispatch, in the afternoon of July 2nd, that the army would remain 
in its position at Koniggratz for the following day, and that he 
hoped a further retreat would not be necessary. He had, there- 
fore, made up his mind to fight a decisive battle next day. Indeed, 
it was not until the night of July 2nd that his whole forces were 
assembled, taking up a position between the town of Koniggratz 


• • •• 


and the Bistritz, now swollen with rain and only passable in 
certain places by bridges. Of the armies opposed to him, that of 
Prince Frederick Charles had fought five severe combats without 
a reverse, and had secured a favourable position in which to engage 
a great battle. The army of the Crown Prince had fought stubborn 
actions on July 27th, 28th, 29th, had now secured its jimction 
with the other army, and was bringing with it as trophies 15,000 
prisoners, 24 captured guns, 6 stand of colours, and 2 standards. 

The field of the battle which was to form such an important The Battle- 
epoch in European history lay between the Elbe and the Bistritz, *^ •* 
which ran parallel to each other at a distance of about five miles. ""■■»» 
The high road from Gitschin to Koniggratz crossed the Bistritz 
at Sadowa. Behind Sadowa is a thick wood, the Hohewald, 
and between it and Nechanitz about half-a-dozen small villages. 
Afterwards the ground becomes more hilly, and then smooth 
again, so that close to Koniggratz it is entirely flat. The village 
of Chlum is about a mile and a half from Sadowa. Another mile 
and a half from Sadowa, down the Bistritz, is the village of 
Mokrovous, and a Uttle way above it the church of Dohahtzka 
and the village of Dohalitz. 

The Prussian troops were in motion long before midnight, ThePraiilan 
and at 1.30 a.m. the staff left Kammeritz. With the dawn of MYaaee. 
day a drizzling rain came on, which lasted till five in the after- 
noon, while a keen wind blew sharply on the soldiers, who were 
short of sleep and food. At 6 a.m. the army had reached the Hill 
of Dub, on the other side of the Bistritz, but it was not allowed 
to moimt the siunmit of the slope, which had hitherto concealed 
it from the Austrians. At 7 Prince Frederick Charles pushed 
over the hill, with some of his cavalry and horse artillery, and 
at 7.30 the first shot was fired. The Prussian horse artillery, 
dose to the Bistritz, repUed to the Austrian gims, but neither 
side fired heavily, and for half an hour the cannonade consisted 
of single shots. At 7.45 the King of Prussia appeared upon the 
scene, and the battle became more vigorous on both sides. 

During the cannonade the Prussian infantry had been moved 
down to the river, and at about 10 were ordered to attack Sadowa, 
Dohalitz and Mokrovous. They were obhged to contest every inch 
of the way, as the Austrians fired upon them as they approached. 
The fighting continued in and around the villages for nearly an 
hour and little progress was made. The headquarters were wait- 
ing for the approach of the Elbe army under the Crown Prince, 
much as Wellington was waiting at Waterloo for the arrival of 
Bliicher. No news of his approach had reached them. What 



PMpare for 

The PniBiiaii 
the Day. 

were they to do ? Were they to allow their soldiers to be sacrificed 
in the murderous fire, or should they retreat or call up the reserves ? 
The King decided that the Crown Prince must come, and that 
they must hold the position until he did, and in the meantime 
employ their last resources. A heavy burden fell upon Franzesky, 
who was holding his own against the Austrians, in the wood above 
Benatek. At length the Prussian infantry captured Sadowa and 
DohaUtz, and were now engaged in the wood which ran on both 
sides of the river. The battle became stationary, and remained 
so for about two hours. 

Benedek now heard that the Crown Prince was expected to 
arrive on his right ; he therefore strained every nerve to inflict 
a sharp blow on Prince Frederick Charles before the reinforcements 
could come up. At noon the whole battle line of the Prussians 
was stopped from further advance and obliged to fight hard to 
retain the position it had won. Indeed, there was a fear lest the 
battle should be lost, for the Austrian artillery had decimated the 
Prussians, and the needle-guns had no effect in the wooded groimd. 
Herwarth von Bittenfeld found himself checked on the right, and 
things were not going much better for the Prussians in the 
centre. Indeed, they were growing very uneasy, and preparing for 
a disaster. 

The Crown Prince had received the order to march at Koniginhof 
at 2 in the morning, but a large part of his army had to cross 
the river, and he could not set out before 8. They had a 
long way to go in drenching rain over marshy ground, but they 
overcame all difficulties and advanced eagerly to the fray. They 
saw before them an Austrian battery on a hill, under a group of 
Ume trees and towards that they marched. At last the heights of 
Chlimi, which dominated the whole of the battlefield, became the 
main point of attack. The Prussian Guard marched to its assault 
and, when they arrived on the summit, saw between them and 
the fortress of Koniggratz the whole of the Austrian reserves, 
to the number of 40,000 men, while between them and the rear 
of the first army were the Austrians who were fighting near Lipa 
and in the Sadowa wood. There were only twelve battaUons of 
the Prussian Guard to hold the key of the position against the 
whole of the enemy's reserve. When Benedek heard that the 
Prussians had occupied Chlum, he would not beUeve it, but, on 
moving up to ascertain its truth, was received by a murderous 
fire, which killed many of his staff. The position of the Guard 
was critical, but at last they were reUeved by the arrival of 50,000 
fresh troops. 


• • •• 


At last the long-hoped-for army had come ! With loud cheers 
and beating drums they ran at full speed up the hill. The Sadowa 
wood was cleared, the Austrian batteries were silenced, the summit 
of the hiU was gained, and they saw the white imiforms running 
before them. The newly-arrived army took the fugitives in flank 
and raked them as they fled. The artillery, when it reached the 
ridge, opened fire on the retreating Austrians, who, however, 
did not lose heart in their dangerous position and maintained good 
order. Benedek now saw that the battle was lost, and that nothing 
remained but to retire to Koniggratz with the fragments of his 
army. King WiUiam rode through the battlefield, saluted every- 
where by the cries of his troops. He even rode imder the fire 
of a battery and was forcibly removed by Bismarck. 

Moltke told the King that he had won, not only the battle. The Way 
but the campaign. Benedek sought for safety on both sides of the Open to 
Elbe, till at last the Austrian cavalry reached Pardubitz and the ^^•■"•* 
army was able to cross the river during the night without further 
loss. The way now lay open to Vienna. Benedek said sorrowfully 
that he had lost everything except the Ufe which he desired to 
lose. The loss of the Austrians amounted to 5,600 dead, 7,600 
wounded, 9,300 prisoners, 12,800 surrendered, and 6,100 missing ; 
together, with the loss of the Saxons, nearly 43,000 men. The 
previous contests had cost the AUies 32,000 men, so that, in a 
week, the north army had been robbed of nearly a quarter 
of its strength. The whole loss of the Prussians was nearly 

Europe heard the news of the victory of Sadowa, or Koniggratz, Effect in 
on the following morning with amazement. An army which had Bupope. 
not been imder fire for fifty years, which its enemies had despised 
as consisting of parade soldiers, miUtia troops, and beardless boys, 
had almost annihilated the most famous army in Europe. AntoneUi, 
in the Vatican, said that the world was falling about his ears. Italy 
felt the joy of a true-hearted aUy, but Napoleon began to consider 
how he could best look after his own interests. 

The excitement in Paris over the Prussian victory can hardly 
be conceived ; a success like that of Koniggratz put Magenta and 
Solferino into the shade. A great Power had suddenly sprung 
into existence by the side of France, equal to her if not superior. 
A strong and imited Germany would shatter into nothingness 
the proud hegemony of France, and the sympathies of Napoleon 
for Prussia b^an to cool. On the day on which the defeat of 
Koniggratz was reported to Paris, Mettemich called on the Emperor 
to say that Austria was ready to renounce Venetia and to ask 



for French mediation, saying that he had full power to conclude 
a negotiation. 
MapoleoB*! The Emperor was embarrassed, compensation for the cession 

Bluff. Qf Silesia was no longer possible, and still less could an armed 

intervention be carried out. He had recourse to bluff. On 
July 5th the Moniteur declared that Austria had surrendered 
Venetia to the Emperor of the French, and had asked for his 
mediation, but that he was taking steps to bring about an armistice 
both with Prussia and Italy. On the evening befdte a coimcil 
had been held at St. Cloud, at which Droujm de THuys, supported 
by the Empress, had urged the summoning of the Chambers, 
the demand for the loan of a milliard, and the massing of 
100,000 men on the Rhine. This was opposed by Lavalette, 
who pointed out that it was inconsistent with the policy of a 
mediator, and that France was not strong enough to begin a 
simultaneous war with Prussia and Italy, which would certainly 
be the upshot. A compromise was adopted, as announced in 
the Moniteur, but the result was the isolation of France in Europe, 
as neither Russia nor Great Britain would support her action. 
When the news of the French offer reached King William, he was 
overwhelmed with astonishment, but thought it prudent to accept 
it, stating the conditions on which such an intervention would 
be possible. 
Italy Claims FeeUng in Italy was very different. In every part of the 
^^^ ^ peninsula it seemed an indignity to accept Venetia in this manner 
Yeniolk * ^^^^ ^^^ hand of the Emperor, Uke a bone thrown to a dog. 

RicasoU and the King were both of the same opinion. Venetia 
must be conquered from the Austrians, and the disgrace of Custozza 
rubbed out. Eventually a telegram was sent to the Emperor 
accepting the armistice under three conditions — ^the cession of 
Venice directly by Austria to Italy, the smrender of the Italian 
Tyrol, and the restriction of the negotiations to the question of 
Venetia alone. The Emperor tried to put pressure on Italy, 
threatening to send a French fleet to Venice, but Ricasoli, now 
certain of the help of Prussia, stood firm and sent Cialdini across 
the Po. 
Anxiety in In the Tuileries the statement of the Prussian conditions 

Parii. was anxiously awaited. Drouyn de I'Huys was in favour of 

sending French troops to Venetia, which was now a French 
province, the Empress wept over the fate of unhappy Austria, 
and dreaded the formation of a Germany which would be hostile 
to France. The Emperor was besieged with argimients for war, 
and Lavalette and Prince Napoleon foimd it diflScult to keep 

1 12 


Mm back. The Emperor felt himself indeed in an mifor- 
ttmate position, for his alliance with Prussia had permitted 
the formation of a imited Germany. The Empress declared she 
was afraid that a German army might appear some day at the 
gates of Paris, that she might go to bed a Frenchwoman and 
wake up a Prussian. Prince Reuss came to Paris, but brought 
no conditions with him. The Emperor did not know what com- 
pensation to ask for and ended by asking for none. The policy 
of Bismarck had conquered. Austria was annihilated, Prussia 
was master of Germany, and France, oscillating from one side 
to the other, instead of appearing as a triumphant mediator, had 
to suffer the humiUation of disappointment and insult. 

In the meantime Prussia was gaining victories in other parts Thelmyof 
of Germany. After the capitulation of the Hanoverians, Falken- *^* ■•*■• 
stein was able to consohdate the various bodies of troops coming 
from the commands of Goben, Manteuffel and Beyer into a single 
force called the Army of the Main, and to attack the troops of the 
Federation which were still in arms against Prussia. Of these the 
Seventh Army Corps, as it was called, was composed of Bavarians, 
50,000 strong, under the command of Prince Charles, who had 
served in the Napoleonic wars, and in the Schleswig-Hoktein 
campaign of 1848. The Eighth Army Corps was made up of 
contingents from Wiirtemberg, Darmstadt, Baden and Nassau, 
together with Austrian troops drawn from different garrisons, 
and was commanded by Prince Alexander of Darmstadt, a fine 
soldier-like man, brother of the Empress of Russia and father 
of the Princes of Battenberg. But, for purposes of securing unity, 
the supreme command was committed to Prince Charles, a unity 
which was very imperfectly obtained. 

The Federsd army was not in a position to take the field till Battle of 
the b^;inning of July. The Bavarian army was posted in Northern D«nn*»»ch« 
Franconia, while the corps of Prince Alexander occupied a district 
called the Wetterau, to the north of Frankfort, while it took 
possession of Giessen and Wetzlar, which was an enclave of Prussia. 
Falkenstein formed the plan of pushing a wedge between these 
two armies, which would prevent them from combining in any 
common action. He therefore attacked the Bavarians, who 
had advanced from Coburg and Meiningen and were now in the 
valley of the Fulda. The two armies came into collision on 
July 4th, in a battle which bears the name of Dermbach in the 
Wiesenthal, fought the day after Koniggratz. The field was 
obstinately contested, with great bravery on both sides. Although 
the Bavarians were superior in number, the result remained un- 
f 113 


ef the 

GaptoFe of 

of Frank- 

certain and the losses on either side were equally heavy. However, 
it had the result of preventing the union of the Seventh Army 
Corps with the Eighth, so that Prince Charles marched south- 
wards towards the Franconian Saale, followed by the Prussians, 
who advanced along the Fulda Valley to Hanau, and the valley 
of the Main. 

Falkenstein's object had been so far attained that, whereas 
on July 5th the two corps were only thirty miles distant from 
each other, two days later the distance had been increased to 
seventy miles. After a difficult march through the mountainous 
district of the Rhon, he came up with the Bavarians in the vaUey 
of the Saale, and on July loth fought the battles of Hammelbuig 
and Kissingen. In the first of these the town was bravely defended 
by the Bavarians, who stood their ground firmly on the bridge 
which crosses the Saale, notwithstanding the heavy cannonade 
and the burning houses on each side. The position was at last 
stormed, as the Bavarians could not stand the vigour of the 
assault and the good firing of the needle-guns. The Bavarians 
drew off to the south-east and the Prussians gained the passage 
of the Saale. 

Kissingen is a fashionable watering-place, and the guests who 
thronged it to get rid of their gout were much surprised on 
finding themselves in the middle of a battle. They were not 
allowed to leave the town, for fear of giving information to the 
enemy. The Prussians made their appearance in the early morn- 
ing of July loth, and crossed the Saale without serious loss. They 
then pushed forward into the heart of the town, but met with a 
stout resistance. The Kurgarten, the centre of the social life of 
the place, was only conquered after a fourth assault, and it was 
not till 3 in the afternoon that the town was in the possession 
of the Prussians. Even then the Bavarians continued the contest 
on the hills, and the fight lasted tiU evening. 

Falkenstein now turned his attention to the Eighth Army 
Corps, which was entrenched in various positions on the River 
Fulda. When the news of the Austrian defeat at Koniggratz 
reached Prince Alexander, he thought that his first duty was to 
defend Frankfort, so he sent a division of Austrians and Hanoverians 
under Neipperg to Aschafienburg to defend the old Imperial city. 
However, on July 13th, Goben won a victory at Laufach, Aschaffen- 
burg was captured on July 14th, and Frankfort was occupied two 
days later. Prince Alexander evacuating the town and retiring 
with his whole army to the Odenwald. Thus, in fourteen days, 
Falkenstein had defeated two armies, each as strong as his own, 



and was able to report to the King that all lands north of the 
Main were in the possession of the Prussians. 

We must now return to the operations of the main army. Tenor in 
After the victory of Koniggratz, it rested for a few days and then Y*«»»»- 
advanced to Pardubitz, pursuing the Austrians in their retreat 
to Olmiitz. In the meantime Prague, the capital of Bohemia, 
had been occupied without a battle, on July 8th. At the news 
of these events terror reigned in Vienna, and a movement was 
made to simmion the whole nation to arms. On July 13th the 
Archduke Albert took command of all the forces of the Empire. 
He brought a portion of the army of the south to the capital and 
united it with the remains of the army of the north. At this 
time the Crown Prince was holding Benedek fast in Olmiitz, and 
Prince Frederick Charles was advancing towards Vienna by the 
shortest road. The Emperor asked for an armistice, but this 
was declined, because he insisted that the Federal States should 
be included in it, and that no obstacle should be placed to the 
operations of the Austrian army of the south. 

Commimications between Olmiitz and Vienna still remained PphmUm 
open, and therefore Archduke Albert issued orders to Benedek £*!!,*"* *^ 
to send his six army corps by train to Vienna. But before half 
of them were dispatched the railway was broken up, and Benedek 
was obliged to retire to Pressburg in Hungary, which he only reached 
by fighting with considerable loss. An eye-witness gives an 
interesting accoimt of the incident. He says that when he came 
in sight of the railway at Goding, he saw two trains, one close 
behind the other, with engines puffing and snorting violently, 
as if drawing a heavy load, steaming slowly in the direction of 
Lundenburg, which is about an hour and a half distant from 
Vienna. These trains were conveying Austrian troops to the 
capital. The Prussians immediately determined to break up the 
line. The men found pickaxes and spades in the neighbouring 
cottages, and some set to work on foot, whilst others held the 
horses. The rails were wrenched up out of their places, and 
thrown on one side, and, in a few minutes, the fine was useless 
for traffic. Scarcely had they finished the work before another 
train came up, but when the engine-driver saw the Prussian cavalry, 
he reversed his engine and steamed slowly back in the direction 
from which he had come. 

On July i8th, 1866, King Wilham took up his quarters in In Bl<ht of 
the little Moravian town of Nikolsburg, and slept in the very ^*«"»»* 
room which Napoleon had occupied before the Battle of Auster- 
litz. At this time the advance guard of the Prussian army were 




Terau of 

in sight of the Imperial city of Vienna, conspicuous by the tower 
of St. Stephen's and that of the Palace of Schonbrunn, while 
before them lay the Marchfeld, with the villages of Aspem, Esslingen 
and Wagram, the scenes of Napoleon's defeat and his ultimate 
victory. They were situated in the middle of rich corn-fields 
bright with poppies, which from a distance looked like pieces 
of dazzling mosaic let into a golden pavement, fringed by the 
silver band of the Danube, studded with emerald islets, while, in 
the distance, the dark blue lines of the Carpathian Mountains 
bounded the view towards Hungary. No Prussian army, not 
even that of the Great Frederick, had ever gazed upon this view 
before. Floridsdorf and Pressburg were the only strong places 
which the Austrians now had in their possession on the north 
bank of the Danube. 

A last struggle took place on July 22nd, 1866, at Neudorf 
and Blimfienau, and Pressbuig, which was the key of the passage 
between Austria and Hungary, was on the point of being captured^ 
when, a few minutes after midday on July 23rd, an Austrian 
messenger advanced from Blumenau to the Prussian lines with 
a flag of truce. He reported to a Prussian officer, who came out 
to meet him, that an armistice had been agreed upon to date from 
midday and that the hour was already spent. The signal to cease 
firing passed along the Prussian ranks, and a sudden stillness, 
a hum of conversation from the astonished soldiers, took the place 
of the roar of artillery and the patter of small arms. 

The negotiations between the Emperor of the French, on the 
one side, and Prussia and Austria on the other, had at length, 
produced their effect, and Napoleon had sent Benedetti, his 
ambassador at Berlin, to the King's headquarters at Nikolsburg 
to propose terms of peace. Bismarck saw, with statesmanlike 
insight, that the golden moment had come in which a treaty 
could be made, and that the opportunity ought not to be lost. 
The Austrians, besides, were anxious for a cessation of the war.. 
On July 24th the Emperor Alexander of Russia sent a message 
proposing a European congress ; the attitude of Napoleon was 
imcertain. Bismarck therefore wrote a letter to King William 
proposing terms. The points he laid down were, the exclusion 
of Austria from the Bund, the annexation of Schleswig-Holstein, 
Hanover, Hesse and Nassau, together with the independence of 
Saxony, but under such terms that in any future war she could 
not take part against Prussia. He also mentioned, as a reason 
for concluding peace, the outbreak of cholera in the army, and 
the dangers of a campaign in the ujihealthy month of Augusts 



The King agreed with his Minister, and after some discussion, in 
which the indemnity to Prussia was eventually fixed at 20,000,000 
thalers, proclamations of peace were signed on July 26th. At 
the last moment Benedetti informed Bismarck that France 
expected some compensation for the aggrandisement of Prussia 
and her own share in the peace, and Bismarck repUed that he 
was quite ready to enter into negotiations on the subject. 

Austria submitted to peace because she could expect no assist- Bifmuek*i 
ance from France. The interference of Russia was caused by ?•*■ 
jealousy of the aggrandisement of Prussia, which would make her g^^iu 
more independent than was in accordance with Russian interests, 
a view on which Gortshakov, the Tsar's Chancellor, laid great 
stress. There was a danger that the meeting of the congress would 
strengthen the claims of France for compensation, and would be 
an occasion for estabhshing an alliance between Russia and France, 
which would be inimical to Prussia. Bismarck therefore declined 
the offer of a congress, and said that his coimtry would not allow 
the terms of peace between two German Powers to be settled 
by any foreign interference. Indeed, if anything of the kind 
were attempted, it would be resisted by the whole strength of 
the German nationaUty, together with that of other peoples who 
threatened insurrection in Poland and Hungary. This firm 
language produced a salutary effect both in Paris and St. Peters- 
burg. But, to smooth matters, Manteuffel was sent to the Russian 
Court, it being known that he was well regarded in the city on 
the Neva. He was instructed to explain the policy of Bismarck 
and to offer assistance in the case of complications in the East. 
By these means Alexander became reconciled to the new state 
of things, and the friendship between Russia and Prussia, which 
had existed for so many years, and had stood so many trials, 
remained imdisturbed. 

On July 28th an armistice was concluded at Wiirzburg between Peace of 
Manteuffel and Prince Charles, which formed a basis of peace Praise, 
between Prussia and the South German States. The war on 
the Main came to an end, and armistices were concluded with 
Baden, Bavaria and Wiirtemberg, which were eventually formed 
into prehminaries of peace, the Eighth Army Corps being gradually 
disbanded. Finally, the Peace of Prague was signed on August 23rd, 
1866, which comprised the conditions of which we have already 
given an accoxmt. 

On August 22nd Baden, Bavaria and Wiirtemberg made a 
treaty with Prussia, at Berlin, in which the preliminaries of Nikols- 
burg were recognised, with the foundation of a North German 




War in 

League, and the admission of the increase of Prussian territory. 
The Zollverein was to continue, with power to determine it by 
six months' notice on either side, and the tolls on the Rhine and 
the Main were abolished. Towards the expenses of the war Wiir- 
temberg contributed 8,000,000, Baden 6,000,000, and Bavaria 
30,000,000 gulden, while Bavaria had to make a small sacrifice 
of territory. A secret article contained an agreement for an 
offensive and defensive alliance in case of a foreign war. The 
settlements with Hesse-Darmstadt and Saxony were more difficult, 
because both countries had been deserted by their sovereigns, 
and were occupied by the Prussians. At last the Grand Duke 
of Hesse submitted on September 3rd, and King John of Saxony, 
a great scholar and almost a saint, agreed to surrender some of 
his royal authority on October 21st. Beust, who had supported 
his anti-Prussian sympathies, was removed and was inunediately 
made Chancellor of Austria in the place of Mensdorff. A Prussian 
garrison was admitted into Dresden and even into Konigstein. 
The King agreed to pay an indenmity of 10,000,000 thalers, to 
enter the North German Confederation, and to accept the Prussian 
acquisition of his army. This example served to overcome the 
obstinacy of the Regent Caroline of the elder fine of Reuss, and to 
induce Duke Bemhard of Saxe-Meiningen to abdicate in favour 
of his son George. 

It was found impossible to establish a South German League, 
with an independent international existence, but the yoimg King 
of Bavaria, Ludwig H. — ^a monarch whose surpassing beauty 
and briUiant genius sank eventually under the cloud of mental 
derangement — summoned a friend of Prussia, Prince Hohenlohe- 
SchiUingsfiirst, to his counsels, instead of von der Pfordten, the 
friend of Austria, and while preserving his full sovereignty and 
the independence of his country, made an alliance with Prussia 
and allowed his army to become part of the Prussian army in 
the case of war. 

The war in Venetia continued until the Peace of Prague was 
signed. The Austrians fought for the possession of a country 
which did not belong to them, and the Italians had to conquer 
a country which was their own. In the middle of July Cialdini 
with his army occupied Padua and Vicenza, and the Austrians 
retired to the Isonzo and Cialdini reached Mestre. Indeed, Victor 
Emmanuel was no longer satisfied with Venetia, and, with the 
help of Garibaldi, attempted the conquest of the ItaUan Tyrol, 
whose inhabitants were clamouring for union with the country 
of their race and language. Garibaldi was not very successful 



in the mountain districts west of Lake Garda, and his young raw 
levies, badly clothed and fed, fell easy victims to the Tyrolese 
sharpshooters. Medici had more success in the battle of Levico 
on July 22nd, fought a month before the conclusion of the 
Peace of Prague, which brought him within striking distance 
of Trent. If he could have continued the struggle he would 
have joined Garibaldi's volunteers in the Giudicaria, conquered 
the valley of the Adige, and severed the connection between 
Vienna and the Quadrilateral. 

At length the Austrians won at sea the victory which eluded Battle of 
them on land. In the battle of Lissa, fought on July 21st, 1866, !*>»»• 
between Persano and Tegethoff, the Austrian fleet emulated the 
triumph of Custozza and allowed of a peace to be concluded, not 
without honour. The Itahans fought with bravery and self- 
devotion, but when the Re d'ltcUia had been rammed by the 
Erzherzog Max, and the Palestro had been blown into the air 
with all its armament, Persano was forced to retire to the harbour 
of Ancona. The war b^an and ended with an ItaUan defeat, but 
the fruits of victory remained in their possession. 

An armistice was signed on July 25th. With some difl&culty Italy rna. 
Victor Emmanuel was induced to siurender the districts he had 
occupied in the Trentino, and a peace was signed at Vienna on 
October 3rd, in which the Kingdom of Italy was recognised by 
Austria. The union of Venetia to Italy, submitted to the popular 
vote, was carried with absolute imanimity, and Victor Emmanuel 
made a solemn entry into the City of the Lagoons amid thimderous 
applause, the people showing an enthusiasm at which even the 
Austrians were siuprised. 

Before the end of the year the French garrison departed from 
Rome, where they had been established for seventeen years, their 
place being taken by mercenaries ; and when Victor Emmanuel 
opened the ItaUan ParUament on December i8th, he could have 
declared that the soil of Italy was entirely free from the presence 
of the foreigner. Rome, however, stiU remained unassimilated. 
The more moderate of the Italian statesmen would have been 
willing to keep Florence as the capital and to come to some 
arrangement with the Pope, but the national party, headed by 
Garibaldi, clamoiu'ed for Rome. 

In the autumn of 1867, Garibaldi made an attempt to realise Garibaldi*i 
his wishes by a raid on the Papal States, but, opposed by the Defeat 
Papal troops, imder the German general Kanzler, and by a 
French auxiliary corps, imder de Failly, he was defeated at Mentana, 
on November 3rd, 1867, and, after a short imprisonment, was 



allowed to return to Caprera, not struck in the foot, as at Aspromonte» 
but deeply wounded in his heart. Failly telegraphed gaily to 
Paris that the chassepot had worked wonders. The result of 
it all was that a French garrison was placed in Civita Vecchia, 
and Rome did not become Italian until after the defeat of the 
French in the war of 1870. 



Olamtomb md His First Mimibtrt 

A LARGE part of the history of modem Europe has been occupied i Spedoiu 
by efforts to get rid of the artificial conditions imposed by the fteatj. 
Treaty of Vienna. The basis of the treaty was the principle of 
L^timacy, coupled with the desire to pimish the friends of 
Napoleon, to reward his enemies, and generally to reverse his policy. 
The insistence upon this principle was due mainly to the genius 
of Talle3n"and, who perceived that it was the only way in which 
France, governed by Bourbons, could resume her leading position 
in the family of nations. But the principle was outworn. What- 
ever it had done for the consohdation of Europe in the past, it 
promised nothing for the future, and its place was taken by the 
principle of Nationality. 

We have, in preceding chapters, traced some of the steps by The 
which the first of these principles was gradually succeeded by Btngfimin 
the second. The independence of Greece, though not consummated **ttoBali4y. 
until 1859, and the separation of the Roumanians and the Servians 
from the Turkish Empire, were followed in 1830 by the fall of the 
Monarchy of July in France, which was foimded on the principle 
of L^timacy. This was succeeded by the revolutionary movement 
in Poland and Italy, which culminated in the cataclysm of 1848, 
and by the establishment of the second French Empire, which 
placed Bonapartism on the throne. Then came events of still 
greater significance, the defeat of the Austrians at Koniggratz, 
and the formation of the North German Federation under the 
leadership of Prussia, the annexation of Venice to the Italian 
Kingdom, and the completion of this edifice by the occupation 
of Rome ; the fall of the second Napoleonic Empire at Sedan, 
and the creation of a new German Empire at Versailles, Protestant 
and progressive, founded on the dual basis of militarism and 
culture, destroying the old Austrian Empire, whose treachery to 
Napoleon had been her ruin, and establishing in her place the 
despised and downtrodden country of Hardenberg and Fichte, 
of Luise and Gneisenau. 

In i860 the central figure on the stage of European poUtics 
was undoubtedly the ruler of France. The Crimean War had 






Treaty with 

strengthened his dynasty at home and had secured his position 
abroad. Cavour had come into conflict with him, but had been 
beaten in the struggle. Bismarck, who eventually overthrew 
him, had not yet consolidated his strength for the purpose. When 
the Sovereigns of the three northern Powers met at Warsaw at 
the end of i860, with the view of combining against France, Russia 
refused to join the conspiracy, and Napoleon remained master 
of the situation. The French Empire was at its zenith. Thiers, 
afterwards a hostile critic, said that the best compensation for 
a Frenchman's being nothing in his own coimtry was the sight 
of that country filling its right place in the world. 

Never was there a more strenuous upholder of the principle 
of Nationality and of peoples " rightly struggling to be free " 
than William Ewart Gladstone, who for so long moulded the 
destinies of the British Empire. He had, of course, the strongest 
sympathy with the creation of a new Italy. In 1853 he dined 
with Cavour at the Italian Foreign Office, and the Italian Minister 
spoke of him as one of the sincerest and most important friends 
that Italy had, and it was mainly through his influence that Great 
Britain took a firm line in obtaining the annexation of Sicily and 
Naples to the Kingdom of Italy. With his full approval, Russell 
wrote in October, i860, that Great Britain could not condenm 
these Southern peoples for throwing off the yoke of a government 
which they detested, and which was Uttle better than an anarchy ; 
nor could it blame the King of Sardinia for assisting them. A few 
days after the writing of this dispatch, Victor Emmanuel and 
Garibaldi rode into the liberated city of Naples side by side, 
and on February i8th, 1861, the first parliament of united Italy 
assembled at Turin. 

Gladstone became, for the third time. Chancellor of the 
Exchequer on Jime 20th, 1859, and one of his first acts was to 
negotiate a commercial treaty with France. It was really the 
idea of Cobden, supported in the Cabinet by Gladstone and Russell, 
most of the other members being indifferent or hostile. At this 
period there was great indignation in Great Britain about the 
annexation of Savoy and Nice to France. There was good reason 
why Savoy should not continue to belong to Italy, but no special 
reason why it should be annexed to France — some portion 
of it certainly should have gone to Switzerland — ^whereas the 
annexation of Nice was regarded as completely unjustifiable. 
Gladstone tells us that a French panic prevailed, as strong as 
any of the other panics which have done so much discredit to 
the United Kingdom. For this panic the treaty of conmierce 



with France was the only sedative. It was, m fact, a counter- 
irritant, and roused the sense of commercial interest to correct 
the war poison. The choice lay between the Cobden treaty 
and not the certainty, but the high probabiUty, of a war with 
France. The treaty was signed on January zycd, i860, before 
the meeting of Parliament, and was announced in the Queen's 
Speech. One of its principal effects was largely to increase the 
consumption of claret in Great Britain. 

Out of the commercial treaty grew the great budget of i860, k Chwat 
the end of a series of treaties which produced the hberation of Budget 
commerce. With the French treaty the movement in favour 
of Free Trade reached its zenith. It was an important financial 
epoch ; more money than ever was required ; more than ever 
economy was unpopular and difficult. The Estimates now stood 
at £70,000,000, which seven years before had been £52,000,000. 
Gladstone made his position more difficult by renouncing £1,000,000 
of income by the French treaty, £1,000,000 more by the aboUtion 
of a number of minor duties, and a third £1,000,000 by the abohtion 
of the tax on the manufacture of paper. He was able to meet this 
expenditure by £2,000,000 of large annuities which had fallen to 
the Exchequer, and by an increase of the income tax. 

When the time for introducing the budget came, Gladstone The Lords 
was ill in bed, and the debate had to be adjourned for a week. *»* *h« 
He then spoke for three hours and fifty minutes without suffering, ^•P*' ''**• 
aided, as he tells us, by a great supply of eggs and milk. The 
speech was one of the most extraordinary triumphs ever witnessed 
in the House of Commons. The budget was eventually passed, 
but the Lords refused to repeal the duty on paper. They heJd 
that, although the Upper House had no right to increase taxation, 
they might constitutionally protect existing taxes from being 
repealed. Unfortimately Palmerston was against the repeal of 
the tax, and even wrote to the Queen that if the Lords threw this 
Bill out he should not be sorry. He was obliged to condemn 
the action of the Peers in the House of Commons, but spoke in 
a half-hearted manner, and the bnmt of the attack lay upon 
Gladstone, who was beUeved by his friends to be nearly killing 
himself by his exertions. It was, imtil the momentous crisis of 
1910, the sole occasion on which the Peers had ventured to tamper 
with finance. 

Conciurently with the budget, to Gladstone's great disgust, A Hew 
Russell had introduced a Reform Bill, as he always regarded ^^otm BUL 
Parliamentary Reform as a panacea for all pohtical ills. It pro- 
posed to lowei the county franchise to £10, the borough franchise 



and the 

and Italy. 

to £(>, and make a relative reduction of seats. It also gave members 
to imrepresented Universities by providing that, in constituencies 
which had retiurned three members, electors should only be allowed 
to vote for two. Russell and the Radicals were heartily in favour 
of reform, but Palmerston and other members of the Cabinet were 
lukewarm. Disraeli described the measure as one of a medieval 
character, without the inspiration of the Feudal System or the 
genius of the Middle Ages. Attempts were made to talk out 
the Bill by long speeches, and at last the chances of its passing 
were so hopeless that it had to be withdrawn. 

We have before mentioned the affair of the Trent, and the 
death of the Prince Consort. With r^ard to the first, Gladstone 
was strongly in favour of the milder course eventually adopted, 
although he made what he afterwards confessed to be the serious 
mistake of saying at Newcastle that the South had constituted 
themselves into a nation. Prince Albert's death was Uttle short 
of a calamity to Gladstone, because it removed from the counsels 
of the Queen a strong sympathiser, who would have made his 
actions and ideas intelligible to the Sovereign and prevented the 
friction which sometimes broke out in after 5^ars. At the same 
time the character of the Prince Consort was one which did not 
specially attract him. Gladstone did not care for the Grerman 
race as much as he did for the ItaUan, and he disliked the influence 
of German education, especially from the religious point of view. 
The Prince Consort was a firm enemy of Roman Catholicism and 
all its works, and his opinions were not likely to be appreciated 
by Gladstone, who also found him cold and ungenial in intellect. 
This, however, did not prevent his deep feeling for the Queen 
in her sorrow, and his stay at Balmoral in her early widowhood 
strengthened the ties between them. 

The meeting of the Itahan Parliament, to which we have already 
referred, renewed Gladstone's enthusiasm for the coimtry for which 
he had done so much. He wrote, at the end of 1862 : " My 
confidence in the Italian Parliament and people increases from 
day to day. Their self-command, moderation, patience, firmness 
and forethought, reaching far into the future, are beyond praise." 
But he strongly disapproved of the French occupation of Rome. 
His support of Italy largely evoked the enthusiasm for the cause 
which characterised all Liberal Britons imtil their attention 
was diverted to the American Civil War. It is curious that the 
generation whose first impressions were formed by the struggle of 
Italy for liberation from Austria regarded self-government as the 
paramoimt principle of liberty, whereas those whose sympathies 



were first stirred by the efforts of the North to preserve the Union 
laid more stress on the necessity of a strong central government. 
The two eternal principles of imperium and libertas were thus 
again beheld in conflict. 

The strength of British sympathy with Italy was most clearly Oaribaldi 
shown by the warmth of the welcome given to Garibaldi on his i» SKngUnd. 
visit to England in 1864. His progress through London, as he 
passed from Vauxhall Station to Stafford House, lasted for five 
hours. Those who came into closer contact with him were charmed 
by the simple nobiUty of his demeanour, by his manners and his 
actions, by the imion of the most fiery valour with the most 
profound and tender humanity, by the blending of absolute 
simpUdty with complete self-possession in the presence of the 
nil^ of the earth. One of the most striking incidents of his 
stay was his visit to Eton College. Three of the masters went 
over to Cliefden on a Sunday to pay him a visit and to invite 
him to the school. When he came next morning he was received 
by the provost and the headmaster, who turned out in their black 
silk gowns, greatly disgusted at having to meet a revolutionary 
leader. The carriage drove into the school-yard, which was 
thronged with boys in the highest excitement, and the hero stood 
up in his grey cloak and said with a radiant smile : " I love you 
all; I love you all dearly." 

When Cavour retired from the scene in 1861, Bismarck took Bismarek's 
his place as the most prominent figure in Europe. Cavour had Po«I**o* *a 
foreseen to some extent what the character of his career would ""^^P** 
be. In 1859, when Prussia objected to the Italian invasion of 
the Marches, Cavour said : "I am sorry that the Radical of Berlin 
judges so severely the conduct of the King of Italy and his Govern- 
ment. I console myself by thinking that on this occasion I am 
setting an example which probably, in no long time, Prussia will 
be very glad to imitate." 

The action of Bismarck against the Danes made it necessary Great 
for Great Britain to make up her mind whether she should take *»**»*■ •■* 
port in the contest. The Prime Minister, Palmerston, and the '^•"™*'** 
Foreign Secretary, Russell, were eager for war, even though it 
would have to be fought single-handed, but the Queen was strongly 
against them, and so were the majority of the Cabinet. Gladstone 
was opposed to war, especially as the Emperor Napoleon refused 
to take part in it, but he was indignant at the conduct of 
Prussia in rejecting the legal rights of the House of Augusten- 
burg. However, the danger was averted, and pubUc opinion 
was with difficulty appeased. But the action of the Cabinet, 




Marriage of 
the Prince 
of Wales. 




deemed vacillating and pusillanimous at the time, has since been 

The American War affected Great Britain in two ways. The 
supply of cotton to the manufacturing districts was cut off, in 
consequence of which great distress was caused in Lancashire 
by what was known as the Cotton Famine. The operatives dis- 
played fine self-control imder their sufferings, and large subscrip- 
tions were raised for their support. But ere the war was over 
the worst pressure had passed. The second trouble was caused 
by the steamship Alabama, which was allowed to leave the Mersey 
on June 29th, 1862. It was protested that she was proceeding 
on a trial trip, but it was an open secret that she was intended 
to act as privateer, to assist the South against the North. The 
American Ambassador had made a strong remonstrance when 
the event came to his knowledge, and, at the last moment, orders 
were sent to Liverpool to stop the ship. She was able, however, 
to go to the island of Terceira, where she took aboard her captain 
and stores. During her career she captured nearly seventy 
Northern vessels. She used to hoist the British flag, and thus 
decoy the victims within her reach, and then display the Con- 
federate colours and capture her prize. She generally burnt the 
ship she had captured, and attracted fresh booty by the flames. 
She was at last engaged and burnt by the Kearsarge off Cherbourg 
on July loth, 1864. The Americans were deeply hurt at the 
neghgence shown in not stopping the vessel, and when the war 
was over a feeling of bitterness was left which nearly led to a 
rupture which was healed with dif&culty. 

On March loth, 1863, the Prince of Wales was married to 
Princess Alexandra of Denmark, in St. George's Chapel, Windsor, 
amid signs of imiversal rejoicing. Banquets were held in every 
important town in the kingdom, and in the evening London 
and other great cities were illuminated, the display in Edinburgh 
— ^largely helped by its natural configuration — ^being of remarkable 
splendour. Never was a marriage crowned with such happiness 
and success. The affection between the pair deepened throughout 
their married hfe, which endured for more than forty-seven years. 

On the dissolution of Parliament on July 6th, 1865, Gladstone 
was defeated by a large majority at the University of Oxford, 
but immediately stood for South Lancashire, his native coimty, 
and was returned third on the poll, defeating one of the Conserva- 
tive candidates. He was now, as he said himself, " immuzzled," 
and was free to fight the battle of a democratic poUcy. One of 
the most remarkable candidatures in this election was that of 



John Stuart Mill, who'^was returned for Westminster. He was, 
in the intellectual world, one of the most influential men in England, 
through his works on Logic and Political Economy, and the 
respect with which his opinion on all important questions of the 
day was received by his countrymen. He was not a popular 
speaker, but nevertheless secured a majority of some hundreds 
over his Conservative opponent. He owed his success mainly to 
the courage and straightforwardness with which he dealt with 
questions at pubUc meetings, even when his answers might seem 
to be opposed to his interests. 

But a great change was at hand, for, ere Parliament met. Death of 
Lord Palmerston was dead. The collapse of his strength came Palmwitoii. 
very suddenly. On his eightieth birthday — ^he was bom on 
October 20th, 1784 — ^he had started at half-past eight from Broad- 
lands, taking his horses with him by train to Fareham, where 
he was met by engineer officers, and rode along the Portsdown 
and Hilsea line of forts, getting off his horse and inspecting some 
of them, crossing over to Anglesey forts and Gosport, and not 
reaching home till six in the evening. In June of the same year 
he had gone to Harrow, his old school, to attend the speeches 
and lay the foundation-stone of the Vaughan Library, trotting down 
the twelve miles within the hour on a rainy day. But in 1865 
a marked change was obvious. He found difficulty in performing 
his duties in the House, and a balustrade on one of the staircases 
is shown as having been placed there to assist his movements. 
He died on October iSth, 1865, and was buried in Westminster 
Abbey on October 27th. 

No one since the Duke of Wellington had filled so conspicuous PalmerttoB^t 
a place in the pubUc eye, or had enjoyed so large an amount of Poiitioii in 
popularity. He was, indeed, a very great Foreign Minister, and ^^t**** 
it is probable that the verdict of history will be more favourable 
to him than was the judgment of his contemporaries. He kept 
steadily before his eyes the honour and greatness of his coimtry, 
and was generally favourable to the progress of Liberalism in 
Europe, in which respect he found himself frequently in conflict 
with the Prince Consort and the Queen. Like Canning, who was 
regarded as a god by the Liberals of Europe, he was not a Liberal 
in domestic pohcy. His oratory was of a curious character ; his 
speeches, as they were hstened to, seemed halting and rough, 
but when read in the newspapers they appeared admirable. He 
was a man of the world, and took, in the main, a gay and joyous 
view of hfe. When Secretary of War imder Wellington, the Iron 
Duke once made an appointment with him for six in the morning. 




Palmerston answered that he should be delighted to come, but 
could not the Duke make it five ? 
SiMoenioB Palmerston's successor in the premiership was Lord RusseU, 

RniSi'*^ although other names, such as Clarendon, Granville, and even 

Gladstone, had been mentionedi Lord Clarendon was made 
Foreign Secretary, and Gladstone Chancellor of the Exchequer and 
leader of the House of Conunons. Among the new men admitted 
to office were two who left first-rate reputations, W. E. Forstcr, 
who framed the great Education Act of 1870, and Goschen, after- 
wards a famous Chancellor of the Exchequer in a Tory Government. 
It was felt, however, that the existing arrangements were only 
temporary, and it was not difficult to predict that the Conservatives 
would be in office before the end of the following year, and that 
then, before two more years had elapsed, Gladstone would be 
Prime Minister. 
TheJunaioa PubUc feeling in the United Kingdom at this time was much 

disturbed by a rebeUion which had broken out in Jamaica, the 
rising seeming to have been suppressed with imnecessary cruelty. 
The British officers quartered in the island appeared to consider 
that any measure was justifiable in the circimistances. One, 
writing to his superior officers, says : " I started with thirty men 
from Dunkinfield and visited several estates and villages, but did 
not see a single rebel. On retmning in the evening, seventy-six 
prisoners had been sent in by the marines. I disposed of as many 
as possible, but was too tired to continue after dark." He then 
goes on to describe how he flogged some and hanged others, and 
continues : " We were come so suddenly upon these two villages 
that the rebels had no time to retire vnth their plunder ; nearly 
three hundred rushed down into a gully, but I could not get a 
single shot, the bushes being so thick." 

The most profound sensation, however, was caused by the case 
of George WilUam Gordon. He was a coloured member of the 
House of Assembly, and was suspected of having caused the 
rebeUion. He smrendered himself at Kingston, was put on board 
a vessel there and taken to Morant Bay, a district where martial 
law had been proclaimed, was tried by a dnmi-head court-martial 
and immediately hanged. 

The Colonial Office was at once bombarded with memcnials, 
asking that the conduct of Colonel Eyre, Governor of Jamaica, 
might be inquired into. He was suspended from his functions 
in the meanwhile, and a Committee of Inquiry was sent out to 
Jamaica. They reported that 590 persons had been put to death, 
that over 600, including many women, had been flogged, some in 



drcmnstances of revolting cruelty, some of the scourges having 
been made of pianoforte wire. The Commission concluded that 
the punishment of death was unnecessarily frequent, that the 
floggings were reckless, and in some cases probably barbarous, 
and that the burning of i,ooo houses was wanton and cruel. 
Opinion at home was divided into two parties, one glorify- 
ing Colonel Eyre, the other condemning him — Carlyle being the 
principal literary representative of the former, John Stuart Mill 
of the latter. The final report of the Commissioners, issued in 
April, 1866, gave credit to Eyre for the way he had put down 
the rebeUion in its first inception, but decided that martial law 
had been kept in force too long, and that the execution of Gordon 
was unjustifiable. Eyre's career was cut short, but the Govern- 
ment eventually paid the expenses of the prosecution which had 
been brought against him. 

The new Parliament was opened by the Queen in person, on oiaditooa 
February 6th, 1866. The Royal Speech contained a reference to LMdi tiM 
an approaching Reform Bill. As has been already said, Mr. ^'• "— . 
Gladstone was leader of the House of Commons, and the Liberals 
numbered 361 members, against 394 Conservatives. The Reform 
Bill promised in the Queen's Speech was introduced by Gladstone 
cm llarch 12th. His speech was eloquent, but the House of Commons 
remained impassive ; it was evident that the proposed measure 
was only a compromise. The Bill proposed to reduce the coimty 
franchise from £50 to £14, and the borough franchise from £10 
to £7, and to allow a savings bank franchise and a lodger's 

But the House did not want Reform. Conservatives were The 
opposed to it, and Liberals were averse to another general election. ** Cato of 
It was unfortxmate that a scheme, heralded by a proclamation ^*l*»»^*' 
of the grievances of unenfranchised millions, should end in the 
enfranchisement of only a few hundreds here and there. Robert 
Lowe Mras the hero of the opposition to the Bill. Although he 
had everything against him as an orator, his speeches produced 
a profound effect from their intellectual power and biting sarcasm. 
Bright, somewhat indifferent at first, warmed as he went on. He 
likened the operations of the band of Liberal malcontents to the 
action of David in the Cave of AduUam, when he summoned to 
his aid every one who was in distress, and every one who was 
discontented, and became a captain over them. The Liberal 
dissentients were immediately christened the Adullamites, and 
the word " cave " was added permanently to the Parliamentary 


«'Bl*ek Gladstone, during the debate, made the memorable speech 

^^^^7'** in which he said : " Time is on our side. The great social forces 
are against you, they are marshalled on our side, and the banner 
which we carry, though perhaps at this moment it may droop 
over our sinking heads, yet soon again will float in the eye of 
heaven." The second reading was carried by a majority of only 
five, and strife was resumed in Committee. Lord Dunkellin, a 
Liberal, moved that the £y franchise should be on a rating 
instead of a rental basis, which would make the qualification 
for the franchise a little higher than the Government proposed, 
and the amendment was carried by 315 votes to 304. The 
Ministry thereupon resigned. It was a dismal time ; Friday, 
May nth, was the famous " Black Friday," which produced sudi 
a financial crisis in England as to make it necessary to suspend 
the Bank Charter ; the cattle plague was raging, and the war 
between Prussia and Austria was on the point of breaking out. 

BflfoRB Lord Russell was succeeded as Prime Minister by Lord Derby. 

DttBongtra- Disraeli became Chancellor of the Exchequer and leader of the 

House of Commons. Lord Stanley was Foreign Secretary ; Lord 
Cranbome, formerly Lord Robert Cecil, and afterwards Lord 
Salisbury, became Secretary for India ; Lord Carnarvon had 
charge of the Colonies ; General Peel of the War OflSce ; and 
Stafford Northcote became President of the Board of Trade. 
The Home Office, which turned out difficult and laborious, fell to 
the lot of Mr. Walpole. On July 9th, 1866, Lord Derby announced 
that he had formed a Ministry, but no one imagined it would last 
long. He promised a safe and moderate measure of Reform, 
but there arose an agitation in the coimtry for Parliamentary 
Reform which took every one by surprise. Reform Leagues and 
Reform Unions started up in all directions. Public meetings to 
advance this object were held every day, the most important 
being that held in Hyde Park on July 25 th. This meeting was 
forbidden by the Government, and orders were given that the 
park gates should be shut at five o'clock. The processions, how- 
ever, were not countermanded, and thousands of people were 
collected outside the park. The persons responsible for the meeting 
having made a protest against the prohibition retired to Trafalgar 
Square, where appropriate speeches were made. But a large and 
motley crowd remained at the park. It being accidentally dis- 
covered that the railings were not very firm, a simultaneous pressure 
was made, the railings fell down, the crowd rushed into the park 
and spent half the night destrojang the flower beds. Yet no great 
damage was either intended or done, and police and soldiers were 




cheered when they tried to clear the park. At the same time there 
is no doubt that this demonstration, which was not important 
in itself and had its hmnorous side, eventually caused Reform. 

The Tory Ministry brought forward their new Reform Bill Tofy 
at the beginning of March, 1867, but Peel, Carnarvon and Cran- *•'•"■ 
borne left the Ministry rather than be responsible for it. Its pro- •••"•■ 
visions were submitted in the form of resolutions which were after- 
wards embodied in a Bill. It was proposed that all who paid 
rates, or twenty shillings in direct taxes, should have the franchise, 
and that this privilege should be extended to certain classes 
qualified by education, or by the possession of a certain amount 
of property in the funds or savings' banks, while householders 
who paid rates received a second vote. All seats were taken 
from the smaller boroughs and from those recently reported against 
for bribery, and given to more populous places, fourteen to boroughs, 
fifteen to counties, and one to the University of London. There 
were also elaborate and cumbrous arrangements with regard to 
residence, rating and dual voting. 

The story of the composition of this extraordinary measure The ** Ta 
was revealed in Parliament by Sir John Pakington. Two Reform **»«*•• 
Bills had been submitted to the Cabinet, one of a more generous, ^^ 
the other of a less liberal character. Which should be submitted 
to the House of Commons depended upon the temper of the assembly. 
At the Cabinet which met on February 23rd it was arranged 
that the more liberal measure should be introduced on Monday, 
February 25th. But at the Cabinet summoned for two o'clock 
on that day it appeared that the introduction of this Bill meant 
the disruption of the Government, and that it was necessary to 
bring forward the measure of more limited character. Lord Derby 
had to address a meeting of the Conservative Party at half-past 
two, and Disraeli to introduce his Reform Bill in the House of 
Commons at half-past four. Only ten minutes were left for dis- 
cussion, and it was impossible to frame a measure in that time. 
So recourse was had to the alternative Bill, and it was introduced 
as the measure on which the Cabinet was agreed. Pakington 
admitted that the Government had made a mistake, but who 
could be expected to act wisely with only ten minutes for de- 
liberation ? So the measure came to be known as the " Ten 
Minutes BiU." 

The reception given to the " Ten Minutes Bill " was entirely 
discouraging. Disraeli saw that there was no chance of passing 
it, but climg to the fimdamental conviction that a Reform Bill 
must be passed by the Tories. Therefore, on February 26th, 



he announced that the " Ten Minutes Bill " would be withdrawn 
and that another and more comprehensive measure would be 
introduced on March i8th. The new measure proposed that in 
boroughs all ratepayers, or payers of twenty shillings in direct 
taxation, all possessors of property in the funds or savings' banks, 
and persons of specified intellectual qualifications should have 
the franchise. It contained certain checks also to prevent it 
from becoming too democratic. English people do not like 
complicated schemes, and it was obvious that this elaborately con- 
structed scheme would not command the confidence of the strong 
common sense of the nation. Bright described the Bill as a plan 
for offering something with one hand and withdrawing it with 
the other. Eventually the measure was converted into a Bill 
that was much more democratic than anything which had been 
advocated by Bright. 
T«rf This measure established household suffrage in the towns. 

JnlrS^^* All the checks and balances which it originally contained were 
SehaM^ eUminated one by one. The dual vote, the voting paper, the 
fancy franchises adl disappeared, and a lodger franchise was intro- 
duced. DisraeU met the amendments first by declining to receive 
them, and then accepting them. The last trench in which the 
Government fought was the compound householders ; householders 
whose rates were paid in the limip by the landlord and not by 
themselves in person were not to have the vote. Probably many 
of those who discussed at length the question of the compound 
householder's vote had no idea who he was. Paying and receiving 
rates in this way was so convenient that it was foimd that in 
some boroughs two-thirds of the householders under jf lo belonged 
to this class. 
The *' Tea Gladstone did not desire that votes should be given to persons 
Room ^ below a certain level in the social scale, and proposed at a meeting 
*'^' of the Liberal Party that the lowest-rented tenements should 
be relieved from rates altogether, and that only those who paid 
rates should have votes. The Radicals were not satisfied with 
this, and at a meeting held in the Tea Room of the House of 
Commons decided that they could not support it, so that in the 
Liberal Party a " cave " was formed, called the " Tea Room 
Party," and Gladstone's scheme was defeated. An effort was 
made to get rid of the compulsory system altogether, and, to the 
surprise of everyone, the Government yielded. The name of 
every occupier was placed in the rate-book, and every occupier 
was given the vote. In other words, household suffrage, pure 
and simple, was established in the boroughs. The " Tea Room 




Party " had gained a complete victory ; they had prevailed over 
Gladstone and had conquered Disraeli. 

The BiU had now become a reality ; it was built upon a sound Tortot* 
principle, but probably went further in the direction of democracy Kadleal 
than Bright had ever desired to go. Mill now proposed that votes '•'•"■ ^•^ 
should be given to women as well as men. He was defeated by 
196 votes to 73, but was satisfied at having brought the question 
of the enfranchisement of women prominently into the political 
arena. The Bill also contained a provision for the representation 
of minorities, by arranging that when a constituency returned 
three members, electors could not vote for more than two. It 
gave the franchise to lodgers paying not less than £10 a year rent 
and resident for one year, to possessors of property of the clear 
annual value of £10, and to occupiers pa3dng ;fi2 a year. It 
awarded a third member to Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham 
and Leeds, and a member to the University of London* It was 
also settled that Parliament should not be dissolved on the death 
of a Sovereign, and that members of a Government should not 
vacate their seats on the acceptance of another office. It put 
o£f the reform of Scottish and Irish representation for another year, 
though when the time for dealing with this branch arrived little 
alteration was made. The Reform Bill eventually became law 
on August 15th, 1867. Thus a Tory Government had passed a 
Radical measure of reform. Lord Cranbome called it a " leap 
in the dark," an expression generally attributed to Lord Derby. 
Lowe warned those who had consented to it that " the working 
men, the majority, the people who Uve in the small houses, all 
are enfranchised ; we must now at least educate our new masters." 

Shortly after the close of the session which passed the Reform Feniaa 
Act, a prison van containing two poUtical prisoners was stopped Oatraget. 
and thrown open in broad daylight in the streets of Manchester 
and the prisoners were released. The two prisoners belonged to 
the society of Fenians. The Fenian movement was first heard 
of in February, 1861, when the House of Commons met on a 
Saturday to discuss a proposal of the Government of the day to 
suspend the Habeas Corpus Act in Ireland and give the Lord 
Lieutenant almost unlimited power to arrest and imprison suspected 
persons. The BiU passed through all its stages on the same day ; 
the House of Lords finished its discussion at an early hour in the 
evening, adjomned till eleven at night to receive the royal assent 
from Osborne, and the Bill became law at 12.40 on Sunday morning. 

Fenianism was to some degree connected with the Civil War 
in America, because the conflict had created a class of Irish- 



American soldiers who looked to new methods of freeing their 
coimtry. Phoenix Clubs had come into existence among the 
peasants of Ireland after the suppression of the movement of 1848, 
and out of them rose the Fenians, the name borne by the ancient 
militia of Ireland. Ossian speaks of the tales of the bare-armed 
Fenians ; very legendary and very stimulating they probably were. 
The Fenian organisation was perfected during the American Civil 
War at a convention held in the United States. Its members 
were bound to give absolute obedience to a single head. Mr. 
Justin McCarthy, who has ample right to speak with authority, 
tells us that the Fenian movement was got up, organised and 
manned by persons who, however mistaken and misguided, were 
high-minded, unselfish and devoted to their cause. They hoped 
that Great Britain and America might come to war in consequence 
of the ill-feeling about the Alabama claims, that the Americans 
might invade Canada, and that a Fenian rising in Ireland might 
secure Irish independence. The Fenian leaders actually issued 
an address, announcing that officers were going to Ireland to raise 
an army for this last-named purpose, and, indeed, James Stephens, 
the Head Centre of Fenianism in America, reached the Irish shores. 
He was arrested and imprisoned in Dublin early in November, 
1865, but he contrived to escape and returned to New York. 
FeaUiu in The Irish Fenians were divided into two parties, one in favour 
^'•■»*»- of an invasion of Canada, the other of a rebellion in Ireland. A 
body of Fenians did invade Canada at the end of May, 1866, but 
were met bravely by the Canadians, and the Americans suppressed 
the movement with imexpected energy and determination. As 
nimibers of Fenians came from America to Ireland, an attempted 
rising was made in March, 1867, which was immediately put down, 
being stopped, it is said, by a phenomenal fall of snow. Of the 
prisoners then taken, one. Colonel Burke, was sentenced to death 
in May, but reprieved. 
The What has been said will show that the state of affairs demanded 

OleriwBwell strong action on the part of the Government, and that the suspension 
poiioii. ^£ ^Yi^ Habeas Corpus Act was fully justified. But the Fenian 
troubles continued. Three of the men who had attacked the police 
van at Manchester were hanged in that city on November 23rd, 
1867, and on December 13th an attempt was made to blow up the 
House of Detention at Clerkenwell, in London, with the intention 
of releasing two Fenians imprisoned within its walls. About sixty 
yards of the prison wall were blown in, and several houses in the 
neighbourhood were destroyed. Six persons were killed on the spot, 
six more died of their wounds, and about a himdred and twenty 



persons were injured. The prisoners, too, would probably have 
been killed had not the Governor, apprised of the plot, locked his 
charges up in their cells. It is alleged that the perpetrators of 
this crime were not Fenians, but conspirators must be held 
responsible for the deeds of those who, while not perhaps belonging 
to the central organisation, hang upon its skirts and do untold 

There can be no doubt but that the Fenian conspiracy exercised OladiioM 
a profound effect on the mind of Mr. Gladstone, and made him "* 
realise that the time had come for dealing seriously with the true 
causes of Irish discontent. He said twelve years afterwards that 
it had an important bearing upon Irish policy, that when the 
Habeas Corpus Act was suspended, when the tranquillity of 
Manchester was disturbed, when London was shocked and horrified 
by an inhuman outrage, when there was such a widespread sense 
of insecurity that inhabitants of many towns in England and 
Scotland were sworn in as special constables, that when all these 
things occurred men began to pay more serious attention to the 
urgency and magnitude of Irish grievances. 

On February 19th, 1867, Lord Carnarvon, as Secretary for CSaaadUa 
the Colonies, moved the second reading of the Bill for the Con- C«»W*»»" 
federation of the North American provinces of the British Empire. 
It was a measure to give practical expression to the principles 
which Lord Durham had laid down in his famous report issued 
more than a quarter of a centiuy previously. By this Act the 
provinces of Ontario and Quebec, together with Nova Scotia and 
New Brunswick, were federated together as the Dominion of Canada, 
with a central Parliament and State Legislature for each province. 
There were to be two Houses in the central Parliament, the Senate 
consisting of seventy members, nominated for life by the Governor- 
General, and a House of Commons elected according to population, 
at the rate of one member for each 17,000, the duration of the 
Parliament not to be more than five years. The executive was 
vested in the Crown, represented by the Governor-General. The 
central government should administer the Crown affairs of the 
Dominion, while each province passed its local laws. The electoral 
systems of the various provinces were very different ; in some the 
vote being open, in others by ballot. The first Federation con- 
sisted of four provinces only, but provision was made for others 
to come in. Manitoba was admitted in 1870, British Columbia 
and Vancouver in 1871, Prince Edward Island in 1873, and the 
Dominion now includes the whole of British North America, 
excepting Newfoundland. 



Capture of 

In February, 1868, in consequence of ill-health, Lord Derby 
resigned the premiership. The Queen sent for Disraeh and asked 
him to form a Government. The Cabinet remained nearly un- 
changed. Lord Cairns became Lord Chancellor, and Ward Hunt 
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Walpole retiring. The chief measures 
of the session were the abolition of public executions, the trans- 
ference of the trial of election petitions from a tribunal of the 
House of Commons to a tribunsd of judges, the abohtion of the 
power of the Peers to vote by proxy, and the purchase of telegraphs 
by the Post Office. 

More important than these, however, was the Abyssinian War. 
Some British subjects, men and women, were held in captivity 
by Theodore, King of Abyssinia, and it was felt that a strong 
effort should be made to release them. Theodore was a man of 
tumultuous passions, capable of strong loves and violent hatreds. 
For very inadequate reasons he felt that he had been slighted by 
Great Britain, and, seizing certain British subjects, imprisoned 
them in his capital, Magdala. Hormuzd Rassam, vice-consul at 
Aden, was sent to demand their release, with a message from 
Queen Victoria, accompanied by Lieutenant Prideaux and Dr. 
Blanc. After a time, mainly owing to misunderstandings, Theo- 
dore threw these emissaries into prison also. At last. Lord Stanley, 
Secretary for Foreign Affairs, sent him an ultimatum, demanding 
the release of the prisoners within three months, with war as the 
alternative. This letter probably never reached the King at all. 
However, an expedition was formed imder the command of Sir 
Robert Napier, which left Bombay at the end of the year. 

It is impossible to read the history of the campaign without 
feelings of pity. The King oscillated from the height of hope to 
the depths of despair. The Abyssinians were, of course, no match 
for the invaders, but the King made an elaborate road, and dragged 
along it a piece of ordnance which was to annihilate his enemies, 
but it burst at the first discharge. In an engagement 500 Abys- 
sinians were killed and thrice as many wounded. At last Theodore 
liberated the prisoners, who found themselves safe under the 
British flag. Moreover, on Easter Sunday, the great festival of 
the faith which both British and Abyssinians hold, he sent into 
the British camp a present of beeves and sheep, intended as an 
offering of peace. It was, however, deemed necessary for British 
prestige to capture the fortress. This was done without much 
difficulty on April 13th, and when the gate was forced the dead 
body of the King was foimd within it, shot by his own hand. 
Magdala was dismantled and destroyed for fear lest it should fall 



into the hands of the Hohanunedans, and the troops immediately 
Tetumed. It was some compensation that Theodore's son, Alamayou, 
a child of seven years, was taken care of by Queen Victoria. He 
was educated first in India and then in England, but died before 
he reached maturity. 

We now approach the period in which Gladstone began his DitM 
great efforts for the pacification of Ireland. He had long been u>l>" 
convinced that Ireland was the weak spot in the British Empire, ^|^ 
a source from which danger had arisen and might at any moment up^g 
return in more dangerous form. This is not the place to recount 
the wrongs which Ireland had suffered at the hands of England. 
It had alwa}rs been treated as a conquered country, to be kept 
in subjection by the overwhelming supremacy of Great Britain. 
The emancipation of the Cathohcs, and the admission to Parlia- 
ment and to full political privil^es of those who professed the 
national religion, had done something to amehorate the bitterness 
of the national sentiment ; but it still suffered from the pressure 
of an ahen Church, endowed by revenues contributed by its own 
people, from the possession of the land by an absentee aristocracy, 
which spent in personal enjoyment elsewhere the exorbitant rents 
derived from the exertions of a laborious peasantry, from an 
administration directed from a British stronghold on principles 
foreign to Irish feeling, by men who did not understand the 
conditions of the country, and took no pains to understand them. 
These grievances Gladstone determined to remove, first that of 
the Church, then that of the land, and lastly that of Dublin Castle. 

It is probable that when he formed the design of bringing the 
disestablishment of the Church into the domain of practical 
poUtics, he had in his mind the possibility of granting Home Rule 
as the only vahd remedy for Irish discontent, and to apply to 
this open sore the magic power of self-government. The Irish 
had been driven by ill-treatment to emigration on an enormous 
scale; indeed, it was a common opinion in England that the 
more Irish that emigrated the better, and that it would be a happy 
thing if Ireland could be entirely deserted by its own people, and 
their places taken by British emigrants. But those who held 
such opinions forgot that there was growing up, in every country 
to whkh the Irish went beyond the seas, an Irish party hostile 
to Great Britain. This was notably true of the United States, 
but it was also the case in Austraha and Canada. 

Now, whatever convictions a statesman may form in his own 
mind as to the desirability of reform in any direction, he cannot 
hope to give effect to them except with the support of pubUc 



opinion, and this opinion, to be valid, cannot be artificially created 
but must grow up in great measure of itself. A wise statesman 
will always take care to have this force on his side. It was idle 
to remedy the grievances of Ireland, imless Englishmen and 
Scotsmen felt they had a real existence. This explains why 
Gladstone came to the conclusion that the Fenian outbreak, the 
Manchester rescue, the Clerkenwell explosion gave an oppor- 
tunity for the introduction of the beneficent legislation he had 
long pondered in his mind. 
Mbftte oa On March i6th, 1868, Mr. John Francis Maguire, an Irish 

^DlMtUb- Member of ParUament, trusted by British and Irish alike, brought 
QaflfUoB. forward in the House of Commons some resolutions on the con- 
dition of Ireland. In the course of his speech he laid great stress 
upon the mischief produced in Ireland by the existence of an 
alien Church. The debate lasted a considerable time, and on 
the first night Gladstone expressed the opinion that the Irish 
Church must cease to exist as a State institution. In consequence 
of this avowal Maguire withdrew his resolutions. He knew that 
the Protestant garrison in Ireland was doomed, and that the fall 
of the Irish State Church was merely a question of time. 

A few days later Gladstone gave notice of three resolutions on 
the subject. The first declared that the Established Church of 
Ireland must cease to exist as an establishment, respect being 
had to personal interests and to individual rights of property ; 
the second declared that it was inexpedient to create new personal 
interests by any public patronage; and the third prayed the 
Sovereign to place at the disposal of ParUament the interests of the 
Crown in the temporalities of the Irish Church. Gladstone proposed 
his resolutions on March 30th, 1868. Lord Stanley met them 
by declaring that any proposition tending to the disestablishment 
or dismemberment of the Irish Church ought to be reserved for 
the decision of the new ParUament. The amendment only pleaded 
for delay ; it did not ask that the Irish Church should not perish, 
but only that its end should come to-morrow instead of to-day. 
Lowe on the Robert Lowe attacked the Irish Church with remarkable 
Irlih Ohiireh. bitterness. He compared it to an exotic brought from a far country, 
tended with infinite pains and useless trouble, and kept aUve 
with great difficulty and expense in an ungenial climate and an 
ungrateful soil. He said : " The ciuse of barrenness is upon it. 
It has no leaves, puts forth no blossoms and yields no fruit. Cut 
it down. Why cumbereth it the groimd ? " In the division 
there were 270 votes for the amendment and 331 against it, so 
that the Irish Church was condemned by a majority of 61. 



Such was the feite of the amendment, but Gladstone's resolu- Dtfeat of 
tions had still to be voted upon, and the first resolution was carried ^ ^•'^ , 
by a majority of 65, the numbers for and against it being 330 
and 265. IMsraeh determined to dissolve Parliament. This 
took place at the end of July, and the new elections were held in 
November. It was probably the most important election since 
the days of the Reform BiU. Gladstone was defeated in South 
Lancashire, but foimd a seat at Greenwich ; Lord Hartington was 
defeated in North Lancashire, and was out of Parliament for a 
short time ; John Stuart Mill was not re-elected for Westminster ; 
and Lowe was chosen as the first Member for the University of 
London. The polls, however, gave the Liberals a majority of 112. 
Disraeli thought it useless to meet the new Parliament as Prime 
Minister, and resigned office. Gladstone's opportunity had come, 
and on the afternoon of December ist he received at Havrarden 
an intimation from Windsor that placed him in power. Evelyn 
Ashley has described the homely incident when the message arrived. 

" I was standing by him, holding his coat on my arm, while How 0lm4- 
he in his shirt-sleeves was wielding an axe to cut down a tree, ■*•■• *•• 
when up came a tel^raph messenger. He opened the tel^^ram f^ ^J^, 
and read it, then handcni it to me, speaking only two words : 
' Very significant,' and at once resinned his work. The message 
merely stated that General Grey would arrive that evening from 
Windsor. This, of course, implied that a mandate was coming 
from the Queen, charging Mr. Gladstone with the formation of 
his first Government. After a few minutes the blows ceased and 
Mr. Gladstone, resting upon the handle of his axe, looked up, and 
with deep earnestness in his voice and great intensity in his face, 
exclaimed, ' My mission is to pacify Ireland.' He then resumed 
his task and never spoke another word till the tree was down." 

" Mr. DisraeU," said the Royal missive, " has tendered his 
resignation to the Queen. The result of the appeal to the country 
is too evident to require its being pressed by a vote in Parliament, 
and the Queen entirely agrees with Mr. Disraeli and his colleagues 
that the most dignified course for them to pursue, as also the best 
for the public interests, is immediate resignation. Under these 
circumstances, the Queen must ask Mr. Gladstone, as the acknow- 
ledged head of the Liberal Party, to undertake the formation 
of a new Administration. With one or two exceptions, which she 
has requested General Grey, the bearer of this letter, to explain, 
the Queen would impose no restrictions on Mr. Gladstone with 
r^ard to the arrangements of the various offices in the manner 
which he beUeves to be best for the pubUc service, and she trusts 



that he will find no difficulty in filling them up, or at least the 
greater part of them, so that the Council may be held before the 
13th. Mr. Gladstone will understand why the Queen would wish, 
to be free from making any arrangements for the next few days 
after the 13th.* The Queen echoes what she said two and a 
half years ago to Lord Derby, that she will not have any time 
for seeing Mr. Gladstone, who may wish to have an opportunity 
of consulting some of his friends before he sees her, but that, as 
soon as he shall have done so, and expresses a desire to see the 
Queen, she will receive him." 
Deatmb«r*i On December zgth Gladstone entered in his diary : " This 
'•*•*"''*•■■ birthday opens my sixtieth year. I descend the path of life ; 
0ladttoBe. ^^ would be true to say I ascend a steep path with a burden ever 
gathering weight. The Almighty seems to sustain and spare 
me for some purpose of His own, deeply unworthy as I Imow 
myself to be. Glory be to His name." And in the last hours 
of the year he wrote further : " This month of December has 
been notable in my life as follows — ^Dec., 1809, bom ; 1827, left 
Eton ; 1831, Classics at Oxford ; 1832, elected to Parliament ; 
1838, work on Church and State published ; 1852, Chancellor 
of the Exchequer ; 1868, First Lord. Rather a frivolous enumera- 
tion, yet it would not be so if the love of symmetry were carried 
with a well-proportioned earnestness and firmness into the higher 
parts of life. I feel like a man with a burden under which he must 
fall and be crushed if he look to the right or the left, and fail from 
any cause to concentrate mind and muscle upon his progress step 
by step. This absorption, this excess, this constant jar is the 
fate of poUtical life with its insatiable demands, which do not 
leave the smallest spark of moral energy unexhausted and avail- 
able for the surgeons. Swimming for his life, a man does not see 
much of the country through which the river winds, and I probably 
know little of these years through which I busily work and live."* 

* December 14th was the anniversary of the death of the Prince Consort. 



The close of the war of 1866 left the Emperor Napoleon in a Europe aad 
worse condition than that which he had before occupied ; but ■•**«•• 
the disaster which eventually overwhelmed him was brought 
about largely by his pohcy in Mexico. Benito Juarez, President 
of that coimtry, in i860 expelled Pacheco, the Spanish envoy, 
and a few months later suspended the interest on the foreign 
debt for two years. The Governments principally concerned 
remonstrated without effect, and in October a Convention, signed 
in London between Great Britain, France and Spain, decided 
on a joint expedition, but disclaimed any intention of territorial 
aggrandisement, or of interfering with the inherent right of the 
Mexican people to choose their own form of government, their 
sole object being to obtain material guarantees for the redress 
of wrongs which had been done to their subjects, and for which 
remedies had been asked in vain. Great Britain was sincere 
in this declaration, but France and Spain both wished to substitute 
a monarchy for a republic, while the Emperor Napoleon desired 
to establish Archduke MaximiUan of Austria on the throne, and 
Queen Isabella pressed the claims of the Montpensiers, the duchess 
being her sister. In November Prim was appointed to the com- 
mand of the Spanish contingent of the allied forces, and was 
ordered to adhere strictly to the principles of the Convention. 
Napoleon's views became known to the Spanish Government 
at the beginning of 1862, but Prim warned the Emperor that if 
he proclaimed Maximilian Emperor of Mexico his power could 
only last so long as he was supported by French troops. But 
trouble was soon a-brewing. One of the first acts of Andrew 
Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln as President of the United States, 
was to assure Napoleon that America would not allow a foreign 
and monarchical government to be established on her soil. The 
triumphant close of the war brought even stronger counsels. The 
Monroe Doctrine, which proclaimed the principle of " America 
for the Americans," was enforced. On December 12th, 1865, 
both Houses of Congress passed a resolution that an attempt to 
destroy an American republic and to build upon its ruins a 



La Boledad. 


monarchy, supported by European bayonets, was opposed to the 
declared policy of the United States, repulsive in the highest degree 
to the American people, and an attack upon the political system 
of the United States. 

Meileo*! Mexico, otherwise called New Spain, originally a vice-royalty 

of the Spanish monarchy, revolted against the Mother Countiy 
in 1820, and obtained her independence in 1821. After forty 
years of civil war, she eventually fell into the hands of Benito 
Pablo Juarez, a lawyer and statesman, who was elected president 
by the free choice of the Mexican people. Bom of poor parents 
in the year 1809, he suffered in his youth from the tyranny of 
the Spaniards, who treated the aboriginal inhabitants, to whom 
he belonged, with contempt and insult. His early manhood was 
spent in the struggle for freedom, and in the attempt to wrest 
the territory of his country from the dead hand of the Church. 
Elected president in 1858, under the new Constitution of 
1857, he defeated the champions of the Clerical party in 
i860, and entered the city of Mexico in trimnph on January 
I2th, 1861. 

Treaty of ^ }^q have said that the new Government of Mexico repudiated 
its debt, but there was some reason for this. The debt had been 
contracted by the Clerical party to assist them against their 
national adversaries, and it was so heavy that nearly one-half 
the revenues of the coimtry went to England and one-fifth to 
France and Spain, leaving the Republic almost without resources 
to defray its expenses. In these circumstances suspension of 
payment was inevitable, and it was met by the Convention of 
London and the military intervention of the three Powers to which 
we have already referred. Spain signed, on February 19th, 
1862, an arrangement with General Doblado, called the Treaty 
of La Soledad, acknowledging the sovereignty of the RepubUc, 
and Great Britain had no difficulty in adhering to an understanding 
which was in accord with the Convention of London. 

But the French representatives hesitated to concur, because 
they knew that the poUcy of France was different from that of 
the two other allies. By the Second Article of the provisional 
treaty, the foreign allied troops were allowed to occupy the towns 
on the edge of the plateau on which Puebla and Mexico were situated, 
Cordova, Orizaba and La Tehuacan, but by the Third Article they 
were compelled to retire to Vera Cruz in case preUminaries should 
not be ratified. On the strength of the Second Article, SaUgny, 
the representative of France, signed the treaty with the intention 
of breaking the First and the Third Articles. 



On March 3rd, General Lorencez landed at Vera Cruz with Fpeaeh 
reinforcements from France, accompanied by General Almonte, Aetion in 
a Mexican refugee, who openly proclaimed his intention of upsetting "•"••• 
Juarez and establishing Maximilian on the throne. On April 3rd 
the Mexican Government demanded the expulsion of Almonte 
from their territory, and, when the plenipotentiaries met at Orizaba 
<m April 9th, Prim exposed the nature of the disgraceful intrigue 
in which France was engaged. In consequence of this, the re- 
presentatives of Spain and Great Britain declared the Convention 
of London and the Treaty of Soledad to be violated and determined 
to depart. The French, who, according to the treaty, ought to 
have retired to Vera Cruz, marched forward and attacked Puebla. 
Reinforcements having arrived from France under General Forey, 
Puebla was taken, on May 17th, 1863, after two months' siege, 
and the city of Mexico was occupied at the beginning of June. 
On July 8th an Assembly of Notables met under the presidency of 
Almonte, who determined to consoUdate Mexico as an hereditary 
empire and to invite Archduke MaximiUan of Austria to assume 
the crown. MaximiUan, who received the deputation sent for 
the purpose at Miramar, stipulated for two conditions — ^the pro- 
tection of the maritime Powers and the consent of the Mexican 
people. Both were impossible, because Great Britain, Spain 
and the United States were opposed to any such arrangement, 
and because the whole of the Mexican people, except the Clericals, 
were in favour of Juarez. Maximilian persisted in his refusal 
for several months, but in the spring of 1864 he accepted, with 
his wife, an invitation to the Tuileries, and there, on March 12th, 
a treaty was signed which made him Emperor of Mexico. 

After some difficulties between the Emperor and his brother Mailmnian 
with regard to the Austrian succession had been settled, it was Pwoeedi to 
arranged at Miramar that the Emperor Napoleon should supply * *^' 
a French garrison of 58,000 men, which should, year by year, 
be gradually diminished. These troops were to be paid for by 
Mexico at the rate of £^0 a year per man. This was a heavy 
burden for the new government, especially as the funds arising 
from the confiscation of church lands could not be used for the 
payment, because it would offend the Clerical party, who were 
the Emperor's only supporters. 

The Emperor MaximiUan left Miramar on April 14th, 1864, 
on the frigate Novara, and reached Civita Vecchia four days later. 
He and the Empress had an interview with the Pope, with the 
object of establishing a concordat between State and Church in 
his new country. He landed at San Juan d'Ulloa on May 28th. 




Nothing could be done with r^ard to the Church question till 
the arrival of the Nuncio M^lia at the end of the year. M^lia 
brought with him a letter written by the Pope's hand, wUch 
showed that all hope of an arrangement was impossible. Any 
step taken by the Emperor himself to shake oif the burden of 
the dead hand was met by energetic expostulation from the Nuncio, 
who threatened a breach with Rome, so that the Emperor had 
no money to pay his way with. A loan was contracted in France 
in April, 1865, under the most onerous conditions, which raised 
the public debt of Mexico to over £30,000,000. The French army, 
now commanded by Bazaine, barely sufficed to protect Vera Cruz, 
Cordova, Orizaba, Puebla and Mexico, and keep the roads which 
connected them clear of the Liberal guerillas. 

Maximilian found himself an emperor without an empire, 
a monarch without authority, in continual strife with the Pope 
on one side and the French on the other. Bazaine, too, became 
insufferable, but without his assistance the Empire wotdd fall 
to pieces, and the time was at hand when the imperious march 
of events would bring this assistance to an end. The result of 
the American Civil War was as great a surprise to Napoleon as 
was the victory of the Prussians at Koniggratz in the following 
year. The victorious North, as we have seen, insisted on the 
withdrawal of the French troops from Mexico. The demand, 
urgent in 1865, became more urgent at the beginning of 1866. 
At that time Schofield, sent from Washington to Paris, told the 
Emperor that a year was the utmost Umit the United States 
could allow for the presence of foreign troops on American soil. 

Napoleon was forced to give way. In his Speech from the 
Throne on January 22nd, 1866, he said : " The government founded 
in Mexico on the will of the people gains strength ; the oppo- 
sition, now without a head, is conquered and dispersed. The 
national troops have shown themselves brave, and the country 
has found guarantees for order, which increase its security. 
Commerce with France has risen from 21,000,000 to 76,000,000 
francs. Last year I expressed the hope that our expedition 
was approaching its termination, and I am now coming 
to an imderstanding with the Emperor Maximilian as to the 
time for the recall of our troops, so that it may be carried out 
without danger to French interests which we have defended in 
those distant r^ons.'* 

This speech was really a tissue of falsehoods. The Repubhcan 
troops were neither defeated nor dispersed ; on the contrary, 
they were pressing forward, and the national army could hardly 



be said to exist ; and for " order " and " security " we ought 
to read '* civil war " and " anarchy." The negotiations with 
Maximilian were not yet begun, for Baron Saillard, who was to 
conduct them, had only left France six days before the speech. 
It was true that the French troops were preparing to depart, but 
untrue that the interests of France were in a secure position. Baron 
Saillard took with him two letters from Drouyn de I'Hu)^, in 
viiich the French Minister, Dam, was ordered to treat with Maxi- 
milian and Bazaine for the immediate withdrawal of the French 
garrison. They stated, on the one hand, that the French army 
would depart in the autimm, and, on the other, that it would be 
better for Maximilian that his throne should not be supported 
by foreign bayonets. This meant that after a year and a half's 
reign, an enterprise undertaken by Maximilian only under strong 
pressure from France, two alternatives were left him, either of 
retiring to Europe with the French, or of certain destruction if 
he remained in the country. Napoleon's conduct was mean, but 
imminence of war with the United States, if he acted otherwise, 
left him really without a choice. On April 5th the Ministers 
announced that the French troops would leave Mexico in three 
detachments, and that the last of them would return in the spring 
of 1867. 

In July the Empress Charlotte undertook a journey to Europe The 
in the hope of saving the situation. She found Napoleon at St. Chariotle 
Cloud, having just returned from Vichy, and, with the most ?"* 
moving eloquence, depicted the terrible position of her husband. 
When these entreaties failed, she gave him two letters written 
with his own hand in 1864, in which he (the Emperor) assured 
the Archduke that he would never desert him imtil his work was 

He looked hastily through the letters and said : "I have done 
what I could for your husband ; I can go no further." 

The Empress was in despair, and, as she took leave, cried : 
" I suffer what I deserve. The grandchild of Louis Philippe of 
Orleans should never have trusted her fortunes to a Bonaparte." 

Added to other misfortunes was the treachery of Bazaine. Baialne'i 
His wife was a Mexican, and her family were infected with the '''••©hwy- 
ambition that they might be masters of the country, and Bazaine 
sought for himself the position of Emperor. Hence his poUcy 
was to weaken the authority of MaximiUan and to increase the 
power of the dissidents, with whom he was in secret conmnmication, 
and for this purpose he prolonged the occupation in order that he 
might have more time for the prosecution of his designs. It was 
k 145 


known that the occupation would come gradually to an end, and 
as each strong place was evacuated by the French it was occupied 
by the dissidents. Treachery took even a more soUd form. 
Supphes paid for by the sacrifices of MaximiUan's supporters were 
sold by Bazaine to the highest bidder, and the money went into 
his pockets. 
Maximilian History does not record a more heart-breaking or a more con- 

HeiiiatM. temptible tragedy. But MaximiUan's cup of agony was not yet 

full. On October i8th, 1866, he received the news that his gifted, 
beautiful, beloved wife had lost her reason. It is said that the 
insanity was first caused by a glass of orange water which she had 
dnmk during her stormy interview with Napoleon, and which 
was made from oranges brought from Mexico by one of her suite, 
and believed to have been poisoned. 

As soon as he heard the news, Maximilian determined to leave 
Mexico, and retired to Chapultepec, and then to Orizaba, which 
he reached on October 27th. Pale and wasted with fever, he 
drove in a carriage drawn by six mules. When he reached the 
town he was received by the French with salvoes of artillery and 
the ringing of bells, but his Austrian suite could only reply to the 
GaUic transports with Hungarian curses. The Indians flocked 
round with joy, his officers besought him on their knees to remain 
in Mexico, but he declared that it was impossible. The Clerical 
party, dismayed at his resolution, strained every nerve to, keep 
him. They sent Father Fischer, a wily ecclesiastic, to promise 
him money and support from the revenues of the Church, engage- 
ments which they were powerless to fulfil ; but Lacuza, his Minister, 
struck a more promising note when he told him that a Hapsburg 
should not desert his post in the hour of danger, and that he must 
meet bravely the attacks of open as well as secret enemies, 
prepared to conquer or fall. 
Maximilian*! On November 25th MaximiUan held a coimcil, in which ten 
'^•®***^"' members out of twenty-three decided against his departure, and 
he determined to remain. He returned to his capital in January, 
1867, resolved to carry on the war with the help of the Mexicans 
who were true to him, and, for this purpose, he recalled Marquez 
and Miramon from exile. He depended mainly upon the Imperial 
Hussars, a regiment of pure Hungarians, commanded and paid 
by the devoted KhevenhiiUer, on the infantry of Hammerstein 
and on the Mexican chasseurs of Moso. He found that the stores 
collected in Mexico had been destroyed by Bazaine's orders, and 
that the marshal had persuaded the mimicipaUty to repurchase at 
an exorbitant price the palace which Maximilian had presented to 



him. Bazaine left the city on February 12th, 1867, starting out 
in the early morning as if ashamed of being seen, having carefully 
destroyed, before his departure, arms, horses, harness and cannon, 
knowing that the crown he had been commanded to defend had 
no money to supply the loss. 

Next morning the troops of Khevenhiiller and Hammerstein MazlmillMi 
were siunmoned to the palace. The Emperor appeared along ** 
with his physician Basch, Father Fischer and others, and told v********- 
his faithful officers that he had determined to return to Queretaro, 
but that they must remain behind. They were in despair, knowing 
that his Mexican guards could not defend him against the in- 
surgents and that he was in the hands of traitors. But he declared 
that it was his unalterable wish, and rode away to his doom. 
MaximiUan left his true-hearted Austrians in the capital, in order 
to Kve for the futinre as a Mexican among Mexicans. He found 
at Queretaro a population of 40,000 souls, who received him with 
joy and an affection strengthened by a three months' siege, and 
he commanded there an army of 95,000 men. But in the capital 
he foimd himself betrayed. Ministers behaved exactly as if there 
were no Emperor at all, did nothing that they had promised, 
suppUed him with no money, and disregarded his commands to 
send him Khevenhiiller and Hammerstein. 

On March 14th, when he had successfully repelled the attack Betrayal 
of General Escobedo, he sent Marquez and Bidaum, whom he ^*^ 
believed devoted to his cause, with orders to depose the Ministry, ™P*'"'' 
to obtain money, and in any case to return to Queretaro with 
reinforcements. The two generals arrived at Mexico on the evening 
of March 25th, accompanied by 800 cavalry. Four days later 
Khevenhiiller and Hammerstein received marching orders, and 
on March 30th they set out, apparently to join the Emperor at 
Queretaro with 4,000 troops and 12 guns. But they marched 
not north-west to Queretaro, but south-west to Puebla, which 
was being besieged by Porfirio Diaz. When they had proceeded 
for four days with incredible slowness they heard that Puebla 
had fallen. This was owing to the treachery of Marquez, who 
disregarded all representations of the German officers. They were 
obliged to return to Mexico, which was soon afterwards blockaded, 
so that no further expedition was possible. 

Maximihan defended himself stoutly in Queretaro. After fight- 
ing bravely on March 24th, April ist and 27th, May ist and 3rd, 
he determined to make a final effort on the night of May 14th. 
But shortly after midnight the enemy, led by the traitor Lopez, 
broke into the monastery of La Cruz, where the Emperor was 




residing with his staff, and took them all prisoners, unarmed as 
they were. 
Izaeatlon of Juarez did not himself desire the death of Maximilian. The 
MudMllUn. besiegers received orders to allow him to pass unscathed should 

he wish to do so. But he was brought before a court-martial 
and tried, together with Generals Meija and Miramon, who 
were regarded by the Mexicans as traitors. If they were 
condemned to death, and they deserved no other punishment, 
how could Maximilian be allowed to escape, under whose 
command they had fought ? Maximilian refused all offers of 
escape, imless the two generals could go with him. When he 
heard of his condemnation, he said to Juarez that he hoped his 
blood would be the last shed for the peace of Mexico. In the 
early morning of June 19th, 1867, the three were led together 
to the place of execution, where the sentence was read out to them. 
MaximiUan said : " I die for the independence and freedom 
of Mexico ; may my blood strengthen them both ! " 

Miramon said : " Long live the Empress ! Hurrah for Mexico ! " 
Meija kissed his crucifix. 

The officers gave the signal, the volleys were fired, and the 
victims fell. The colonel who commanded the firing party said 
to Herr Basch : " His was a mighty soul ! " 
Hto ■HudDB On the evening of June 19th, as soon as he heard of the execu- 
BMn^t to ^iQjj^ Baron Lago, the Minister of Austria, telegraphed to Juarez 
"**** asking to be allowed to convey the body of MaximiUan to Europe. 
The Austrian corvette Elizabeth had been waiting on the coast 
to receive the Emperor at any moment. The cabin reserved for 
his return to his country was now turned into a chamber of death. 
Juarez barbarously refused to surrender the corpse, which he 
regarded as a spoil of victory. The captain of an American ship 
of war was asked to press the request. He did so, pointing out 
that the ashes of the victim could be of no possible service to 
Mexico, and adding : ^' All expenses will be paid." This was 
refused and a similar request of a more official character met with 
the same result. The faithful Basch, who had been careful to 
embalm the body, and was keeping it at Queretaro, asked, on his 
own accoimt, that the remains might be removed, but received 
an answer that the Citizen President had decided for grave reasons 
not to accede to the request. At last Tegethoff was dispatched, 
fresh from the laurels of Lissa, and was allowed to come to Mexico. 
He said that he represented the family of the Archduke. Juarez 
demanded an official request from Austria, or a written demand 
from the family of the Archduke. Beust bowed before necessity 



and the body of the murdered hero was brought back to Europe 
on the Navara, the ship which had conveyed him, in his youth, 
on his voyage roimd the world and had brought him as an Emperor 
to those iU-fated shores. On January i8th, 1868, the Royal vault 
of the Capuchins received the mortal remains of the most un- 
fortunate member of the unfortunate House of Hapsburg. In 
the meantime, the beautiful and gifted Empress Charlotte was 
wandering, a hopeless limatic, about the gardens of Laeken, near 
Brussels. Napoleon and Bazaine were, as yet, unscathed, but 
a more terrible calamity awaited them than that which had befallen 
the Emperor whom they had destroyed. 

The year 1867 was the year of the Paris Exhibition, the most The 
briUiant of those international festivals which have now become 
too common to excite much attention, but were then untarnished ^^* 
by famiUarity. It witnessed also the culmination of the splendour 
of the Imperial Court. Paris was visited by the monarchs and 
statesmen of Europe. The Tuileries and the H6tel de Ville vied 
with each other in dazzling hospitahty. But the brief period of 
brilliance lay between 1866 and 1870, between Sadowa and Sedan, 
between the humiliation and the destruction of the Imperial edifice ; 
tmder the triumphal song of exaltation sounded the burden of 
sadness. The tolling of a funeral bell, which accompanied the 
merry carillons of success, was heard by the acutest ears of European 
statesmen, and even in the intoxication of pleasure the Emperor 
and Empress could not have been deaf to its warnings. 

These feelings naturally made the Emperor more anxious to Riie «f the 
consohdate the fabric he had created, in order to leave it, with some ^Wfd Pftrty. 
hope of continuance, to his heirs. The most obvious way of doing 
this was to change it from an absolute to a constitutional monarchy, 
and this feeUng was exhibited in the rise of the Third Party, which 
came into existence in the early months of 1866. The Third Party 
did not desire parliamentary government comparable to that 
of Great Britain, but what it called a development of pohtical 
freedom, a Ministry responsible to the Legislative Assembly, which 
should give that body a voice in the general policy of the country 
and a certain power of control. This change would natinrally be 
accompanied by the liberty of the Press, and the concession of 
the right to hold public meetings. It was a move in the ceaseless 
struggle between imperium and libertas, authority and freedom, 
the two foci on which government is based, the conciliation of 
which constitutes the duty and the difiiculty of every statesman. 

The leader of the Third Party was fimile Ollivier, a young, 
vigorous and attractive personaHty, who, living to a green old 




OUlTitt and 

age, gave to the world a record of the events in which he played 
so prominent a part. His chief opponent was Rouher, who had 
been a faithful supporter of the Second Empire since its founda- 
tion in 1857. Rouher began the campaign with vigour. In 
July, 1866, he obtained the passing of a decree of the Senate 
which gave to that body the sole right of discussing constitutional 
changes, removed their discussion from the Lower House, and 
punished by a severe fine any treatment of this question in the 
Press. Petitions to the Senate for any change in the Constitution 
could only be brought before it for consideration if primarily 
authorised by the pubhc officers. By this measure Rouher hoped 
to establish a bulwark to defend the Constitution of 1852. 

But the catastrophe of Koniggratz and Queretaro had produced 
a powerful effect on the mind of the Emperor, an effect which 
was deepened by the evidences of unrest and discontent in the 
nation at large. Therefore, on January 19th, 1867, he promul- 
gated a decree restoring the right of interpellation to the Deputies, 
and enacting that a Minister might be specially deputed by the 
Emperor to represent him in the discussions of either House. 
Notice was also given of an intention to introduce the freedom of 
the Press and the right of pubUc meeting, both in a modified 

During the first six months of 1867 it was imcertain how far 
these measures portended the transference of power from Rouher 
to OlUvier. An interpellation, to be vaUd, required the signa- 
tures of five Ministers, and the approval of four committees, 
which gave the majority in the Chamber power to prevent a 
demand which might be disagreeable to the Government. Besides, 
the presence of Ministers in the Chamber did not indicate that 
they were responsible to ParUament, as it was expressly declared 
that they were responsible to the Emperor alone. Rouher still 
remained supreme. He established a kind of club in the Rue de 
I'Arcade, composed of thoroughgoing Bonapartists, who were 
opposed to all Liberal reform, and he pubUcly announced in the 
Chamber that the Liberal concessions of January 19th were made 
at his instigation. At his instigation, too, on March 12th, the 
Senate demanded and obtained the right of examining all laws, 
not to determine whether they were constitutional, but to help 
in their formation, and this power was certain to be used in a 
reactionary sense. Walewski, the friend and protector of OUivier, 
resigned the presidency of the Legislative Assembly, and when 
the Bills passed in January were adjourned indefinitely, and 
Ollivier made a violent attack on Rouher, whom he called the 



Vice-Emperor, Napoleon sent Rouher the Grand Cross of the 
Legion of Honour to console him for the attack to which he had 
been subjected. 

Matters were, however, compUcated by the rise of the Luxem- The 
burg Question — ^that is, the nature and amount of the compensation LoMmlMirg 
which France was to receive for the aggrandisement of Germany. »*••«•■• 
The " Arcadians," as the ultra-Bonapartists were called, would 
not have recoiled from war to obtain their ends ; but the Emperor 
was prudent and determined to confine himself to diplomatic 
means. In the negotiations with Bismarck before the war of 
1866 Napoleon had always emphasised the necessity of some 
compensation for France. Bismarck had not definitely opposed 
these views. He had, indeed, done something to stimulate them, 
but had carefully refrained from committing himself, from promis- 
ing an5rthing, or even from saying that he would agree to such 
a demand. He, however, privately declared that no cession of 
German territory could be thought of for a moment, and that 
Great Britain would oppose any aggrandisement of France in 
Belgium ; but that if there coiild be foimd on the confines of 
France a small territory resembling Savoy, Germany would not 
object to its annexation as an accomplfehed fact. This could 
only refer to the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg. 

The history of this Uttle country had been remarkable and The PeetHea 
anomalous. The treaty of April 19th, 1839, ^^^ ^^^^ ^^ indepen- •' l-uxem- 
dent, imder the sceptre, indeed, of the King of Holland, but with "** 
separate institutions — a Sovereign State under a Prince who 
resided at The Hague, but, at the same time, belonging to the 
German Federation and a member of the Zollverein. Moreover, 
in 1815, it had been declared a federal fortress, and was garrisoned 
by Prussian troops. But by the war of 1866 the old Confedera- 
tion had been destroyed, and it would be possible to form a new 
one, of which the Duchy of Luxemburg should form no part. It 
seemed, therefore, to be able to command its own destinies, 
excepting as concerned the Sovereign of the Low Countries, the 
King, or Grand Duke as he was called. The country caused no 
Uttle worry to the House of Orange-Nassau, to which it was a 
source of embarrassment rather than profit, being pohtically and 
naturally separated from the country of the Netherlands. On 
the other hand, France was close by, ready to receive it gladly. 
It was a small country of 200,000 inhabitants. Its main import- 
ance lay in the fortress-capital, which was more formidable in 
appearance than in fact. If it became French by an act of cession, 
supported by a plebiscite, who could find fault ? 




Viiiton to 

An opportunity for opening the question was afforded when 
HoUand asked France whether she would give assistance, in case 
she (Holland) were attacked by Prussia. The French Govern- 
ment said that, though they did not apprehend any danger, the 
presence of a Prussian garrison in Luxemburg was undesirable. 
The dissolution of the German Confederation had restored 
Luxemburg to Holland and had made Luxemburg an independent 
State. It would, therefore, be wise of the King of Holland to 
cede Luxemburg to France ; Germany would not object to such 
a step, which would gratify the feeUngs both of the Dutch and of 
the inhabitants of the Grand Duchy. Eventually, in January, 
1867, the Dutch, convinced that Luxemburg actually belonged 
to them, offered to cede their province to France in return for a 
payment in money, if the Prussians would agree to withdraw their 
garrison. The people of Luxemburg agreed to this arrangement, 
and the King of Prussia had also given his approbation, when, in 
March, 1867, pubhc opinion in Germany suddenly took alarm, 
and Goltz, the Prussian Ambassador in Paris, demanded from 
Moustier, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, a pledge to discontinue 
the negotiations. But this did not lead to war, as was ex- 
pected. The question was referred to a conference of the Powers 
in London, the result of which was that France renoimced 
her scheme for the possession of the Grand Duchy, and Prussia 
evacuated the fortress, which was declared neutral and was dis- 

One of the results, indeed, one of the objects, of the Exhibition 
in Paris was to attract a crowd of distinguished visitors to that 
city, especially princes and kings. They all came, first the King 
and Queen of the Belgians, then the Queen of Portugal, Prince 
Oscar of Sweden, the Prince of Wales, and the son of the Tycoon 
of Japan. But the most distinguished and the most longed-for 
of all were the Emperor Alexander of Russia and King WilUam 
of Prussia. If their friendship were secured, the Empire might 
feel safe. The Tsar arrived on June ist. Great pains were taken 
for his safety, which were not entirely successful. His cortege 
avoided the dangerous streets, and he was lodged in the filys^e. 
But he did not escape some insults from friends of Poland. King 
WiUiam left Berlin on Jime 4th. As he entered Paris he saw the 
Heights of Montmartre, which he had occupied with an invading 
army in 1814. He was met at the station by the nephew of the 
man he had helped to depose, the sovereign whom three years 
later he himself was to depose. He was lodged in the Pavilion 
Marsan, and was better received by the populace than Alexander, 



although he was really more dangerous. He was attended by 
Bismarck, who drove in the carriage behind him. 

On June 6th a great review was held for the two Sovereigns. The Tiutf^g 
As they returned in the afternoon King WiUiam sat with the Mawow 
Emperor, and the Tsar with the Empress. The crowd was so ^■^P*' 
thidc that they could only proceed at a foot's pace. Suddenly 
a shot was fired at the Emperor's carriage. An equerry drove 
his horse in the way, and the ball wounded its nostrils, the blood 
spurting out over a Grand Duke. 

" Sire," said Napoleon, " we have been under fire together ; 
we are now brothers in arms." 

The Tsar, who was destined to be killed some years later by 
the explosion of a bomb, replied, " Our days are in the hands of 

The assassin was a young Pole named Berezowski, who desired 
to avenge the wrongs of his country. 

In the brilliant company Austria was alone wanting, wrecked 
by domestic misfortunes. One Archduke was mad ; Maximihan 
was a prisoner, awaiting his doom ; Archduchess Mathilde set fire 
to herself while dressing for dinner, and was burned to death. 
The Austrian Embassy was closed. 

Bismarck was the hero of the day. His sallies were in every- Biimarek*t 
body's mouth. Certainly, French society was never more brilliant BFUllaiwy, 
than in June, 1867. Yet Offenbach was there with his mocking 
laugh, and was more applauded than anyone ; the Grand Duchess 
of Gerolstein was the play of the summer. All good things come 
to an end, however, and Alexander left on June nth and King 
WiUiam on Jime 14th. The latter sent a warm message of thanks 
on his return to Babelsberg. 

As Austria could not come to the Emperor, the Emperor Mapoleoa in 
determined to go to Austria. Beust was anxious for the meeting, AnitrU, 
saying that an alliance between France and Austria was a first 
poUtical necessity. The visit took place at Salzburg on August 
i8th, the birthday of Francis Joseph, and lasted five days. It 
led to no definite results, and was rather a visit of condolence for 
the past than a union of hope for the future. On his return the 
Emperor passed by Lille, which he had visited just after his 
marriage with his lovely bride. He was tempted to compare 
the present with the past, and admitted black clouds hung on 
his horizon. When Francis Joseph paid a return visit to Paris 
in October, he visited the tombs of his ancestors at Nancy, and 
expressed a hope that France and Austria might advance hand 
in hand on the path of progress and civilisation. But nothing 



aad motor 

The Leflon 
of Aatibeo. 

Tlie Freaeh 
LeaYO Rome. 

tangible came of these words. At last the pageants were over, 
and the puppets were put back into their box. A feeling of dis- 
quietude and discontent followed the orgies of splendour. Imperial 
France knew no more happy days. 

By the Convention signed between Napoleon and Victor 
Emmanuel on September 15th, 1864, it had been agreed that 
Italy should not attack the existing territory of the Pope, or 
permit any attack upon it, that the French troops should evacuate 
Rome within a maximum delay of two years, and that Victor 
Emmanuel should establish his capital in some other place than 
the Eternal City, probably Florence. The Convention was dis- 
tasteful to CathoUcs throughout the world. To the Pope it was 
a thunderbolt. Beust disbeUeved in its reaUty, and French 
CathoUcs received it with disgust. The Convention was approved 
of by the Italian Government and Parhament, but many ItaUans 
hoped and beUeved that Florence was only a step towards Rome. 
In 1865 signs appeared that the Convention would be carried out. 
Victor Emmanuel established himself in the Palazzo Pitti, and 
the ItaUan Parhament held its sittings in the large hall of the 
Palazzo Vecchio. 

Napoleon withdrew a regiment from Rome, and the Pope 
began to resign himself to his fate. On January ist, 1866, he 
said to Montebello, commandant of the Roman garrison : " This 
is the last time you will receive my New Year's blessing ; after 
your departure, perhaps the enemies of the Chiuxh will come to 
Rome. I pray for you, for France, for the Imperial family." 
Napoleon endeavoured to find a substitute for his garrison by 
constituting the Legion of Antibes, a body of French CathoUc 
soldiers, recruited imder the Papal flag for a service of five years. 
In August, 1866, this Legion nimibered 1,000 men, and was placed 
under the command of Colonel d'Arz. It entered Rome on 
September 22nd. 

After the acquisition of Venice the Itahans became more 
anxious for the occupation of Rome, and in November Fleury 
was sent to Florence to coimsel moderation and to inform the 
King that if, after the departure of the French garrison, the Pope 
were compelled to leave Rome, he would be brought back by 
French bayonets ; and that, for this purpose, 20,000 French 
soldiers would always be posted between Marseilles and Toulon, 
ready to sail for Civita Vecchia at any moment. But, before 
the end of the year, the Convention was carried out. On 
December nth, 1866, the French tricolour disappeared from the 
Castle of St. Angelo and, two days later, Montebello landed in 



France. After seventeen years the French occupation was at 
an end. 

At first sight the Papal Government appeared stronger than Garibaldi 
ever. The carnival and the Holy Week were iinnsually brilliant ; ^•••^ 
never had the influx of visitors been more numerous. In June 
the centennial anniversary of the martyrdom of St. Peter was 
celebrated with great pomp, and the Pope issued invitations for an 
CEcumenical Council. Italian patriots sought for a leader to help 
them to realise their hopes, and they foimd one in Garibaldi, 
whom they believed to be invincible. In February, 1867, he 
left Caprera and went to Venice, where he preached a campaign 
against Rome. He was placed at the head of the national move- 
ment and addressed a remonstrance to the courts of Europe 
against the continuance of the temporal government of the Pope. 
At Genoa he prepared an expedition which was to land on the 
shores of the Papal territory, and on June 20th 200 Garibaldians 
assembled at Temi and made a raid into the territory of Viterbo. 
Garibaldi himself entered Orvieto on August 13th. Ratazzi, a 
man of vacillating character, was now Prime Minister of Italy, 
in place of the strong-minded RicasoU. He did his best to 
minimise the danger, and placed his hopes on the promise which 
Garibaldi had given to attend a congress at Geneva, which would 
remove him from Italy at least for a time. 

This congress, which bore the name of " a Congress of Peace," The 
met at Geneva on September 8th, and Garibaldi arrived there ^'•■•^••••' 
with great 6clat. He made a speech from the balcony of his hotel 
in which he extolled the freedom of Switzerland, the heroism of 
William Tell, the passionate democracy of Rousseau, and the 
brotherhood of man, and expressed the necessity of destroying 
all thrones and, above all, the pestilential institutions of the 
Papacy — a strange allocution for " a Congress of Peace." At the 
first sitting he made a speech in which he uttered the opinion that 
all wars were impious except those directed against kings, and 
he renewed the cry which had been first heard at Catania in 
1862 — " Rome or death ! " In three days the Genevese were 
tired of his presence, and on September nth he made a hurried 
departure. He did not, as was desired, retire to Caprera, but 
went to Italy and invaded the Papal territory. As he was 
preparing to cross the frontier, he was arrested, on September 
24th, at Osinalunga and imprisoned for a time in the fortress of 
Alessandria. It was a second Aspromonte, and Ratazzi was proud 
of it. 

Rome remained comparatively tranquil. The Papal army now 



Defeat of 

of Sunday Mass, and were joined there by the French brigade, 
which had left Rome a Uttle later. They saw in front of them 
the large villages of Mentana and Monte Rotondo, both occupied 
by Garibaldi. His army was depressed by the fact that there had 
been no rising in Rome, and by the news of the arrival of the 
French. It is said that he was on the point of marching to Tivoli, 
with the view of retiring to the Abruzzi, when he heard of the 
approach of the enemy and immediately made his dispositions 
for defence. 

Garibaldi had no artillery excepting what he had captured 
at Monte Rotondo, and only a few cavalry, but he still commanded 
9,000 troops, a number superior to that of the enemy. He was 
protected by the old castles of Monte Rotondo and Mentana. 
A fierce fusillade began and the Papal Zouaves fell back, 
but Charette, with an energy worthy of his name, cried, 
" Forward with the bayonet ! If you do not follow me I 
will go alone ! " On the side of the road were a vineyard and 
a farm, called the Vigna Santucd, occupied by Garibaldians. 
After a severe struggle it was captured at 2 p.m., and the French 
were less than a mile from Mentana. They came into action 
armed with chassepot rifles, but the Garibaldians fought bravely, 
and when night fell Mentana was not taken. However, when 
they were about to renew the attack at daybreak the white flag 
was hoisted on the walls of Mentana, and Monte Rotondo was 
evacuated. The Garibaldian army had ceased to exist, 1,000 
had been killed or wounded, many prisoners were taken, and 
those who escaped were disarmed at the frontier on November 
6th. The Allies returned to Rome in triumph. Garibaldi was 
captured at Figline. Failly shocked public opinion and senti- 
ment by saying in his dispatch, " The chassepots have done 
wonders." Napoleon had now completely broken with the Itahan 
patriots. On November 4th Rouher declared in the Chamber 
that Italy should never take Rome, and that France would never 
permit such a violence to her honour and to CathoUcism. 

The expedition to Rome had the effect of reconstituting the 
efOunbetUt Republican party in France. Mentana had produced a breach 

between Italy and France, and set the revolutionaries against the 
supporters of authority. On November 20th, just after the 
expedition had started, a fresh attempt at combined action was 
inaugurated at a Radical demonstration in Paris. A new 
opposition, more audacious and more enterprising than any which 
had previously existed, came into being. Among its orators was 
L6on Gambetta, a young lawyer from Cahors, whose eloquence 



was the admiration of the Quartier Latin. Newspapers of a more 
violent tone made their appearance, such as the Rive Gauche, the 
Courier Frangais, and the Candide, edited by Blanqui and his 
disciples. A Labour Party also came into being with strong 
Socialist tendencies. The Workmen's International Association 
had been founded in London in 1864, and in September, 1867, 
the second International Congress at Lausanne sent a delegation 
to the Peace Congress at Geneva, to which we have already 
referred. Socialist workmen thus imiting themselves with Genevese 
Republicans against the Empire. On November 4th the Inter- 
national took part in a demonstration against the expedition to 
Rome, and on December 30th the members of the Paris branch 
were prosecuted for interfering in pohtical matters. 

At the beginning of the year 1868 the Emperor felt himself Hapolaea** 
in a dangerous position, and Prussia was to him more and more S^!^^ 
a cause of anxiety. The French military attach^ at Berlin 
reported to his Government that any accident might bring on 
war. Mentana had put an end to any hope of an alliance with 
Italy. It was imperative to reorganise the army, but this could 
not be done without the consent of the Chambers, which would 
refuse it unless concessions were made to the desire for more 
Liberalised government, which would mean the emancipation of 
the Press and an alteration of the law of public meeting. The 
whole year was occupied in the discussion of these measures, the 
general result of which was to weaken the authority of the Empire 
and hasten its fall. 

At this time the French army was recruited by conscription. Freneh 
The routine was as follows : It was first determined how many Byitom of 
new soldiers were required for the service of the year, and all ^•■■•"P' 
young men who had reached the age of twenty-one were 
summoned to the capital of the Department and drew lots. 
Those who drew the lowest numbers were taken one after the 
other until the number required was complete. The number 
asked under the Restoration had been at first 40,000, and then 
60,000 ; under Louis PhiUppe it was raised to 80,000, and imder 
the Empire to 100,000, but in the Crimean and Italian wars it 
was increased to 140,000. The length of service was seven years, 
and those who had drawn good numbers, as they were called — 
that is, nmnbers higher than were needed for the service, did not 
serve at all. By this system the population was divided into two 
classes, one of artisans and labourers altogether free from mihtary 
service, the other Uving in garrisons and always subject to be 
called to arms, the difference between them depending solely on 






Critloitm of 
the French 




the hazard of a lottery. Those who could afford it could purchase 
exemption, which, at first customary, became legalised in 1855. 
It is difficult to imagine a worse S3rstem. No wonder the word 
" conscription " grew hateful, and it is used at the present day 
to discredit universal miUtary service, which, whether good or 
bad, is certainly not conscription. 

In Prussia the system was entirely different. In that country 
the whole male population was compelled to serve, but only for 
two or three years, and thus the separation of the population into 
two classes <hd not arise. This system was ridiculed in France, 
because it was not understood. It was regarded as impossible 
that an army of semi-citizens, without the splendour and 6clat of 
the French service, could acquit themselves bravely in the field of 
battle. The existence of a highly-trained scientific General Staff 
was not known, and the care with which the cadres of the regiment 
were maintained in a high state of efficiency was also ignored. 
The Battle of Koniggratz was a revelation ; as a consequence of 
it, the Prussian system became the admiration of Europe, and 
in September, 1866, Napoleon and Randon undertook the reform 
of the French army. 

Napoleon was in favour of compulsory miUtary service, but 
the marshal did not go beyond a modification of existing condi- 
tions. A new spirit, however, was infused into these discussions 
by the appointment of Niel to succeed Randon as Minister of 
War, and this was emphasised by an expression in the speech of 
the Emperor on opening the Chambers on February 14th, 1867 : 
" The influence of a nation depends upon the number of men 
whom she can place under arms," an opinion which came as a 
shock to those who were dreaming of universal peace and the 
federation of the world. These words gave rise to heated debates 
and a rain of pamphlets, the most remarkable of which was that 
of Trochu, VArmie Frangaise en 1867. He criticised severely 
the existing conditions, but had httle to propose in their place 
except a yearly contingent of 100,000 recruits and nine years of 
service — ^five in the active army and four in the reserve. 

The Government plan appeared in March, 1867. The recruits 
of the year were to be divided into two classes ; the first was to 
serve five years in the active army and four in the reserve, and the 
second foiu" years in the reserve only. In the active army some 
citizens were exonerated from service altogether ; in the reserve, 
substitution was allowed. A Garde mobile was to be formed, con- 
sisting of two parts — one, of those who had been exonerated or 
had found a substitute ; the other, of those who had served four 



years in the reserve. The Garde mobile was subject to military 
exercise, but could not be called to active service except by an 
Act of the Legislature. The period of active service was reduced 
to five years. To this project the Chambers made three objec- 
tions : they wished to preserve the right of fixing the annual 
contingent, desired the preservation of the " good numbers " 
and the privilege of entire exemption, and proposed to give the 
Garde mobile a civil rather than a mihtary character. These 
discussions continued during the whole of 1867, and the law was 
voted on January 14th, 1868. The result of the debates was that 
little serious change was made, saving the creation of the Garde 
mobile, an imitation of the Prussian Landwehr, and it was doubtful 
how far that would be carried out. 

The Bills relating to the freedom of the Press and the right The 
of public meetings were before the Chambers at the same time as 
the Army Bill, and were considered as the first steps towards the pl^i^^o* 
foundation of a Liberal Empire. The Liberahsing of the Empire 
suffered much from the premature death of Momy, the son of 
Queen Hortense and Flahault, in March, 1865. He had been the 
author of the decree of November 24th, i860, which founded this 
poUcy. In the debates on the Address in March, 1866, an amend- 
ment was proposed, signed by forty-two Deputies, begging the 
Emperor to give effect to the decree of i860. This is known in 
French history as the "Amendment of the Forty-two." It is 
uncertain whether the Emperor agreed with them or not, but on 
January 19th, 1867, a letter from him to the Ministers was 
pubhshed annoimcing certain reforms in the direction of liberty. 
These were to substitute the right of interpellation for the right 
of address, to allow Ministers to attend the debates in the 
Chambers, to reform the law of the Press and the law of public 

It is reported that on the day after their publication Prince Refonni of 
Napoleon said, " If the Emperor wishes to be consistent, he will ^"f*" •■* 
take femile Ollivier into his counsels." In fact, Rouher, the ^ y^JH. 
actual Minister, had opposed the Amendment of the Forty-two, 
and OUivier, who had been offered the portfolio of Pubhc Instruc- 
tion, had refused to serve under him. Granier de Cassagnac 
pronounced strongly for the principle of personal government, 
declaring it to be the true Liberahsm. He supported the Con- 
stitution of 1852, to be used, however, with moderation, saying 
it had protected France for sixteen years and would continue to 
protect her. Eventually, Rouher, in the desire to maintain his 
position, came roimd to the Bill, and it was finaUy carried on 
I 161 


March 9th, Berryer alone voting against it. It made it possible 
to found a newspaper by a simple declaration, instead of 
obtaining the consent of the Government ; and it abolished 
governmental interference by means of warning, suspension 
and suppression. Newspapers were placed under the jurisdiction 
of the law courts, but the necessity of a stamp and a deposit by 
way of security was still insisted upon. The law of public 
meeting authorised the holding of such meetings, subject to the 
signature of the necessary declaration by five competent persons, 
and provided that a meeting should take place in a closed building 
imder the supervision of a commissary of poUce, who could dissolve 
it if he pleased. 
^hObub of The Empire was evidently on its decline. What were the 

the BmpiM. evidences of its decay and the causes which led to it ? Like the 
ancien rigime, it owed its destruction in part to the spread of 
ideas which were inimical to the principle of authority. Religion 
was attacked, and the power of the Government undermined. 
Moreover, the new Press law led to the multiphcation of Radical 
newspapers. In addition to the Siicle and the Temps, which were 
old asserters of the Liberal cause, there were issued the Tribune 
of Eugene Pelletan, the Revue Politique of Challemel Lacour, and 
the Revue of Delescluze, who was a zealous RepubUcan. On May 
30th, 1868, appeared the Lanterne of Henri Rochefort, which 
rapidly attained a dominant position. It attacked the dynasty 
with the most bitter sarcasm. The first number said : "I am 
thoroughly Bonapartist, but I must be allowed to choose my 
hero in the dynasty. As Bonapartist, I prefer Napoleon II. It 
is my right : he represents for me the ideal of the sovereign. No 
one can deny that he occupied the throne, because his successor 
is Napoleon III. What a reign, my friends, what a reign ! No 
taxes ! No war ! No Civil List ! Oh, yes, Napoleon IL, I love 
and admire you without reserve." The Tuileries was in constern- 
ation, Rochefort was punished and exiled, but nothing would stop 
the dissemination of the scarlet pamphlet. At the same time, 
under the law of pubUc meeting, the gatherings of Socialist work- 
men became more frequent, social and economic questions were 
freely discussed, and before long the debates took the form of 
attacks on the Government. 
OFowing Towards the end of the year 1868 the horizon darkened. A 

Uitteit. book entitled Paris in December, i8si> by a young pubhcist, 
Eugene T6not, told in merciless terms the history of the coup 
d'itai. Demonstrations were made in favour of an obscure 
RepubUcan named Baudin, who had fallen at a barricade in 185 1, 




and a subscription was opened for a monument. The Republican 
newspapers that supported the movement were prosecuted, and 
were defended by Gambetta, who attacked the coup d*Hat in 
violent language, calling for a great national expiation. Demo- 
cratic principles began to spread throughout the bourgeoisie, the 
middle class which had hitherto supported the Empire. When 
the Chambers were opened on January i8th, 1869, the Emperor 
denounced from the throne the revolutionary spirits whose aim 
was to disturb pubUc tranquillity. During this session the 
Opposition gained a victory in the vindication of the liberties of 
Paris. It was settled that the budget of the city was to be voted 
by the Municipal Coimcil, under the sanction of the legislative 
body, and was no longer wholly dependent on the will of the 

The result of the elections held in May, 1869, furnished further Tbt *< OmI 
proof of the spread of Repubhcanism and of opposition to the Belie.** 
Empire. At their close the Government secured 4,438,000 votes, 
the Opposition 3,385,000. In Paris the Opposition had a large 
majority — 231,000 against 74,000. Out of ninety candidates of 
the Opposition, about forty were irreconcilable to the Empire. 
The Emperor was determined to proceed in the path of Liberalis- 
ing the institutions of his Government, doubtless satisfied that it 
was the best means of securing the throne to his son. In 1866 
the Liberal movement had been supported by 42 Deputies ; in 
1869 personal government became unpopular. An interpellation 
put forward by the Left Centre, the old Third Party, received 
a number of adhesions, at first 70, then 100, then 116, and the 
new party entered into French history as that of the Cent Seize 
(the Hundred and Sixteen). Their principles soon secured the 
pubUc sanction of the Emperor, and on July 12th, when the 
business of parliament began, Rouher read a message from the 
throne consenting to their programme. Their main object was 
to establish Parhamentary Government. The office of Secretary 
of State was abolished and the new Prime Minister was to be a 
member of the Chambers and to speak in their name. In these 
circumstances Rouher tendered his resignation, and his long reign 
was at an end. 

Unfortunately, having taken the great step, the Emperor LeglilaliTe 
proceeded with hesitation. Indeed, he was at this time very ill, 
and in August his Ufe was despaired of. He seemed to be airaid 
of the consequences of his action. In the plaice of Rouher, who 
became President of the Council, he made Forcade de la Roquette, 
the great supporter of official candidatures. Minister of the 



Interior, and shrank from giving office to men who, in the opinion 
of the country, were the most prominent advocates of the new 
regime. In September the draft of the decree giving effect to 
the reforms indicated in the message of July 12th was accepted 
by the Senate. The Legislative Assembly became a parhament 
on the British model ; it chose its own president and secretaries, 
and had the right of initiation, of discussing and voting the 
budget, of discussing amendments of it in detail, instead of voting 
large portions of it in the mass. The Senate was transformed 
into a dehberative assembly with pubUc sittings ; it could discuss 
laws brought up from the Lower House and discuss them in detail, 
while the Ministers were responsible and could be impeached. 
There was, however, a party in favour of personal government, 
supported by the Empress, and called the Arcadians or the 
Mamelukes, and Rouher still had access to the Emperor's private 
TheDavB The Chambers opened on November 29th, and the Emperor 
•f 1910. in Ills speech said that the new state of things should be foimded 
on order and Uberty, avoiding reaction on the one hand, and 
revolution on the other. He would be responsible for order, but 
it was the duty of the Chambers to assist him in preserving 
liberty. On December 27th the Emperor wrote a letter to £mile 
OUivier, asking him to nominate the persons who might form 
with him a homogeneous Cabinet faithfully representing the 
opinion of the majority of the legislative body, and bent on carry- 
ing out the new Constitution both in letter and in spirit. The 
formation of the new Ministry was very difficult, but on January 
2nd, 1870, the names were published in the Moniteur. Daru 
became Minister of Foreign Affairs, Buffet of Finance ; Leboeuf , 
who had succeeded Niel, remained Minister of War. These 
changes had roused more ciuiosity than interest in the country. 
The Ministers were known to be honest men, enlightened and 
incorrupt, faithful servants of their sovereign and country. The 
new order of government was looked upon with hope rather than 
with suspicion, and was generally popular. The year 1870, which 
was to prove the last of the Empire and the most tragical in the 
history of France, opened under the most favourable auspices for 
peace and liberty. 
Bodallitic Nevertheless, the Ministry had from the first great difficulties 
Tfiimph. Ijq^Jj ijj Parhament and the country. Olhvier was supported by 
the official Ministerialists, who gave him a large majority, but 
the extreme Independents were hostile and ready to take advan- 
tage of any mistake he might commit. The forty RepubUcan 



Deputies had no real power, but represented the inhabitants of 
the great towns, the working classes, and the educated middle 
class. Gambetta, their most prominent member, declared for a 
proposal which included universal suffrage, the entire freedom of 
the Press, absolute right of meeting and combination, the separa- 
tion of Church and State, and the suppression of a standing 
army. There were also Socialists belonging to the International, 
preaching Republicanism and Revolution to the workmen of the 
great cities, organising trade unions, and supporting strikes. In 
November Rochefort was elected for Belleville by 17,900 votes, 
in place of Gambetta, who had chosen to sit for Marseilles, and 
this was regarded as a triumph for the Socialists and the party 
of Revolution. 

An event now occurred of a dramatic character, which yietor loir 
hastened the fall of the Empire. Prince Pierre Bonaparte, third Killed by 
son of Lucien, a man of fifty-three years of age, was Uving in a ^^J? 
small house in the Rue d'Auteuil. He was a thoroughly bad lot, lapolooB. 
an unreclaimed and imciviUsed Corsican, who got into mischief 
wherever he fixed his abode. He was the enfant terrible of the 
Bonaparte family and a constant source of anxiety to the Emperor. 
A quarrel arose between him and some newspapers which had 
abused the Bonaparte family, and Paschal Grammont, the editor 
of the Marseillaise, sent him a challenge, which was conveyed, 
among others, by a yoimg man of twenty-one, called Victor Noir. 
The envoy did not behave with discretion, a shot was fired by the 
Prince, and Victor Noir was killed. On Jime nth the Marseillaise 
came out bordered in black, with the heading, " Assassina- 
tion of Victor Noir by Prince Pierre Napoleon Bonaparte." On 
the following day the victim's funeral was attended by 100,000 
persons, and disorders occurred which it was the duty of the 
Liberal Government to put down. A more ungrateful task could 
not have fallen to the lot of OUivier, and this imtoward episode 
cast a shade on the new poUcy of Parliamentary Government, 
and deepened the clouds gradually closing round the head of 
the State. 

OUivier soon found that the task he had to perform was not OUlTier^i 
the conversion of the Empire into a Constitutional Monarchy, '•*• 
but the preservation of the Emperor. In dealing with RepubUcans 
and Socialists, he was obliged to have recourse to the detested 
methods of absolutism. He arrested Rochefort for taking part 
in the funeral of Victor Noir, and also arrested the editor of the 
Marseillaise, and kept the leaders of the International under poUce 
supervision. Pierre Bonaparte was acquitted of murder by the 



High Court of Tours, but this did not allay the public ferment 
nor tend to reassure the Tuileries. 
1 f aTour- It v^as a fundamental part of the Constitution that no change 
Jl^ljj.^ could be effected in it without the ratification of a plebiscite, and 
on April 23rd the nation was summoned to vote on the question 
whether it approved of the Liberal reforms efiected in the Con- 
stitution since i860, and whether it ratified the vote of the Senate 
of April 20th, 1870. The Emperor announced that his object 
was to avert the peril of revolution, to estabUsh order and liberty 
on a firm basis, and to assure the transmission of the crown to his 
son. The voting took place on May 8th, and showed 7,358,786 
" Ayes " and 1,571,939 " Noes," there being 1,894,181 abstentions. 
This result seemed to have given strength to the Empire, and 
Napoleon, in acknowledging the vote, called upon his subjects 
to contemplate the future with confidence. Changes were made 
in the Ministry, the Due de Gramont taking the portfoUo of 
Foreign Afiairs and Plichon that of Public Works. 

In June, 1870, France appeared to be both powerful and 
prosperous, and on the last day of the month Ollivier was able 
to assure Jules Favre that on whichever side he looked there was 
an absence of troublesome questions, and that at no moment 
had the maintenance of peace in Europe been better assured. 
These momentous words were spoken sixty-four days before the 
fall of the Empire at Sedan. 




The Beginning of the End 

To provide against the eventuality of a war with Prussia, it was PMiible 
necessary, first, that France should have a strong army, and, AlllMMai 
secondly, that she should have aUies. But what alUes were ^•^ 
possible ? Russia was estranged in consequence of her Polish 
policy ; Great Britain was indifferent and unwilling to be mixed 
up in foreign complications. Only two alliances could be 
contemplated — ^with Austria and Italy. But between Austria 
and France there were serious causes of disagreement — ^the Battle 
of Solferino, the hesitating conduct of Napoleon in the war of 
1866, and the betrayal of Maximihan. On the other side there 
were the interview of Salzburg and the visit to Paris. 

At this time Beust was Chancellor of the Austrian Empire, a PotltloB of 
man of moderate talents but great ambitions. He was jealous of Auitrla, 
Bismarck, who, he thought, prevented him from being the 
dominant figure in Europe, and desired to avenge the misfortimes 
of 1866, which he could not hope to accomplish without the aid 
of France. Gramont, the new Minister of Foreign Affairs, was 
strongly in favour of an alliance with Austria. He detested 
Bismarck and the Prussians ; as an aristocrat of ancient Europe, 
his sympathies naturally turned to the successor of the Holy 
Roman Empire. At the same time there were many grave reasons 
to deter Austria from entering upon a war. The consequences of 
defeat would be disastrous, involving dismemberment of the 
Empire. Besides, desire to avenge Sadowa was not felt among 
the motley nations of which Austria was composed with the 
intensity that it evoked at Vienna. Himgary, nearly as im- 
portant a member of the Empire as Austria itself, was strongly 
opposed to war, and there was danger lest an aUiance with 
France might give rise to a counter-alliance between Berlin and 
St. Petersburg. 

There was, of course, a prospect of making a triple instead of 
a dual alliance by including Italy in the arrangement ; but Austria 
would have to grasp the hand of her former enemy, and Italy 
condone Mentana and forget her suspicions of Napoleon and her 
recent relations with Bismarck. Above all, there was the question 



with Amtria 
and Italy. 


of Rome, which Victor Emmanuel desired to possess and which 
Napoleon would not surrender. 
HegotlatioBi Still, in this world of change sentiments do alter and, in the 

hope that bygones might be bygones, negotiations were begun. 
Originating in 1868, these altered feelings became more palpable 
in 1869. Negotiations were conducted with the greatest secrecy 
between a small number of men — ^Beust, Mettemich and Vitz- 
thum on the side of Austria, Vimircati representing Italy, and 
Rouher France ; Gramont was not in the secret till he became 
Minister of Foreign Affairs. Little, however, was accomplished, 
and by September, 1869, all that had been determined was that 
France and Austria should not make a new alliance without the 
knowledge of the other. Austria was always afraid lest France 
might, by a sudden impulse, turn towards Prussia. The over- 
mastering desire of Italy was to acquire Rome ; she insisted, 
therefore, that the French occupation should cease, that the 
Convention of September 15th should be again enforced, and that 
Italy should be left to work out her own destinies. Napoleon, 
however, refused to desert the Papacy during the hfetime of Pius 
IX. When the war broke out nothing definite had been arranged, 
but unhappily the Emperor beUeved that he had letters from 
Francis Joseph and Victor Emmanuel which could at any 
tnoment form the basis of a definite treaty. 

At this time Prussia was not anxious for war, but wished to 
devote herself to the task of consoUdating the German Confedera- 
tion. There was, however, a certain amount of popular irritation 
against the French, and an increasing eagerness to recover Alsace 
as an ancient province of which Germany had been robbed. The 
decision between peace and war was in the hands of the King. 
He professed an ardent friendship for the Emperor and Empress 
of the French, and treated Benedetti, the French Ambassador at 
Berlin, with great kindness ; but it was known that he had never 
forgotten the events of his youth, the War of Liberation, and the 
triumphal entry into Paris. Among those who surrounded him, 
Prince Frederick Charles was one of the advocates of war ; but 
the Queen and, above all, the Crown Prince Frederick were ardent 
supporters of peace. There was a^ outward appearance of repose, 
and Bismarck, Moltke and Roon had all retired to their estates. 

But there is no doubt that Bismarck always regarded war 
with France as an inevitable consequence of the war with Austria, 
and that he was occupied in preparing for that contingency. His 
first object was to secure Russia, and there was little likehhood 
that any efforts of Napoleon would be able to weaken the ties 






which united the uncle and the nephew ; Fleury was sent to St. 
Petersburg in vain. In December, 1869, Alexander sent to King 
William the Crown of St. George, and the Emperor received in 
return the Order of Merit. The one thing which would have 
attracted Russia — ^namely, the removal of the barriers imposed 
by the Treaty of 1856 and the opening of the Black Sea to ships 
of war — ^it was impossible for Napoleon to propose. With reigard 
to Prussia the main object of her diplomacy was to keep Russia 
neutral. If Beust were irreconcilable, it was all the more neces- 
sary to secure the friendship of the Imperial family. During 
the autumn of 1869 the Crown Prince spent two days with the 
Court of Vienna, on his way to Servia, and an Archduke, the 
brother of the Emperor, paid a return visit to Berlin. The tone 
of Bismarck and Beust towards each other became more con- 
ciliatory. On the other hand, great exertions were made to stir 
up dissensions between Italy and France. Bismarck was an 
accompUce in the campaign of Mentana, and other steps were 
taken in the same direction ; but the presence of the French 
garrison at Rome was sufficient to prevent France and Italy from 
ever being friends. Great Britain was undoubtedly Well disposed 
towards the new German Confederation. 

There was greater difficulty in dealing with the States of PraasU and 
Southern Germany than with foreign Powers. It is true that *h«South«ni 
Hesse-Darmstadt accepted the situation because it was too weak 
to resist, and that Baden, closely connected with the House of 
Hohenzollem, eagerly sought the protection of Prussia, but 
Bavaria and Wiirtemberg did their best to preserve their independ- 
ence. There was much to alienate Bavaria from Prussia. She 
had hitherto depended upon the protection of Austria, although 
she was not too small to acquire some degree of independence ; 
besides, her national temperament, her mode of life, her religion, 
aU separated her from the rigid formalism of the northern 
kingdom. Wiirtemberg was proud of her independence. Her 
inhabitants, belonging to the homogeneous race of the Swabians, 
clung with passionate devotion to their Sovereign, their hills, their 
paternal yet democratic government. Resistance, stimulated in the 
Bavarians by religion, was in her inspired by the love of liberty. 

From 1868 to 1870 Bismarck combated these antagonisms BtrengthMi- 
with consummate adroitness. In Bavaria he had the King on ^ ***• 
his side and a large portion of the Press, which he had also used ^' 
at Stuttgart ; but he knew that, after all, he must rely mainly 
on force, and he spent his energies on perfecting the army. In 
this task he had the invaluable assistance of men whose qualities 



fitted them in a special manner for the work — ^the King and 
Moltke. The King was devoted to the army and knew no greater 
happiness than when engaged in its service. He was able to say, 
at the age of seventy-one, that he had inspected eighty-seven 
battalions in twenty-two days. The care of the army was his 
duty and his religion. 
Moltke*t Moltke remains the best example of pure scientific intellect 

JJ^**^ applied to the conduct of military affairs. It was said of him at 
Berlin that he could be silent in seven languages, that on the eve 
of Sedan, when reports were brought showing that his instruc- 
tions had been carried out and that the circle of shell and fire 
had closed roimd the devoted French, his only remark was " Es 
stimmt " (" Correct ! "). He was a bom student, forgetting nothing 
and every day learning something new. Since the war of 1866 
he had concentrated his intellect on the invasion of France. 
Assisted by a General Staff which became the model for all similar 
institutions in the rest of Europe, he had drawn the most perfect 
maps, formed the most elaborate calculations, and made all 
arrangements with the most mathematical accuracy, leaving 
nothing to chance. His maxim was '* Discover the principal army 
of the enemy, and attack it when you find it." He knew that a 
single mistake at the beginning of a campaign remained a weak- 
ness throughout. He held that, though something could be done 
by dash, much more was achieved by accurate preparations and 
prevision. He was well aware that the virtues of a soldier are 
often his greatest weaknesses. Energy, chivalry, high spirit, 
self-sacrifice, all that captivates the imagination and arouses 
sympathy with the military life, cannot hold their own, either 
against the deep devotion of a nation fighting for its existence, or 
against an elaborate machine constructed and working on scientific 

Armies representing these antagonistic forces were now to 
meet in the shock of war. The Prussian host, formed by years of 
thought and hard work and matmred by the experience of two 
campaigns, was to be pitted against levies inspired by high 
traditions, in which the new was still in conflict with the old ; 
the result was not doubtful, and the calamity which ensued was 
to change the face of Europe. 
Dara Uat Dam, who had charge of foreign affairs in the Ministry of 
January 2nd, was resolute for peace. We find his true policy 
sketched in his private papers ; it was incumbent, he held, to 
maintain the status quo, to let sleeping dogs lie, to preserve a good 
understanding with Great Britain — ^but, if she took the side of 




Prussia, to find a compensation in Russia — ^to avoid raising any 
Eastern question, to reassure the Italians as to the occupation of 
Rome, to let the Spaniards settle their own affairs — ^but with a 
leaning towards the Prince of Asturias — ^to keep an attitude of 
reserve against Bismarck. 

It is said that the Prussian Prime Minister did not appreciate BlgmmNk 
Dam's caution, that a possible quarrel with France was too for War. 
valuable an asset to surrender. It is true that the expenses of 
the Prussian army constituted a very heavy burden on the 
Prussian people, but the system of national mihtary service was 
so essential that when Lord Clarendon attempted to bring about 
a European disarmament, Loftus, the British Ambassador at 
Berlin, could not secure the attention of the King to his 
proposals. In those days it was not understood that national 
armies are supposed to be the best guarantee for international 

Very important was the visit of Archduke Albert of Austria 
to Paris. He discussed with the Emperor the chances of 
war, the i)ossibility of an Austrian alhance, and even the plan 
of a campaign. In April Dam, disheartened perhaps at the small 
hkeUhood of his peaceful poUcy being successful, resigned his 
portfoHo ; and in May, Gramont, a fatal choice, was, as we have 
seen, appointed as his successor. 

On May i8th the Emperor smnmoned a council to the the 
Tuileries, consisting of Leboeuf, Frossard, Lebrun, and Jarras BmpwoF^s 
with his maps. Napoleon related what had passed between the ^^^o**^ 
Archduke Albert and himself. In the case of war with Prussia, 
one French army was to hold the Prussians back upon the Sadne, 
another was to march through Germany and join the Austrians 
in Bavaria, an ItaUan army was to reach Bavaria through Tyrol, 
and a French fleet was to appear in the North Sea. Wiirtem- 
berg, Baden, Hanover and Denmark were to join the plot ; and 
Prussia, surrounded by a wall of enemies, would be obliged to 
submit. Deep silence followed this revelation. Then came the 
announcement that Austria would require six weeks' notice before 
beginning the campaign. Could France keep Prussia back for 
six weeks ? The maps which Jarras had brought with him proved 
incontestably that she could not, and the meeting dispersed in 
melancholy mood. 

The Emperor, however, persisted. Lebrun was sent to the 
Archduke to complete arrangements and, if possible, induce him 
to surrender the delay of six weeks which seemed fatal to the 
French cause. This Archduke Albert refused to do, and Lebrun 



began to doubt whether Austria did not desire dela^y in order to 

withhold her aUiance until after a French victory. Lebrun held 

a conversation with Frands Joseph at Laxenburg which was 

even less satisfactory. He had reached Vienna on June 6th and 

returned to Paris on June 22nd ; his report to the Emperor is 

dated June 30th, but deeds move more quickly than words. War 

was declared between France and Prussia on July 19th, and on 

September 2nd the Empire fell. 

Game of We must now relate the cause of the catastrophe. In 

^■•^[•""^ September, 1868, the Spaniards rebelled against Queen Isabella, 

War. ^iio, obliged to leave the country, was hospitably received in 

France. This revolution was brought about by three parties — 

the Unionists, who represented the Liberal middle class ; the 

Progressists, who were in favour of Reform ; and the Democrats, 

who supported the idea of a federal RepubUc. Serrano was 

leader of the Unionists, Prim of the Progressists, the Republicans 

had few supporters. In the case of a monarchy being decided 

upon, who was to be sovereign ? Prince Leopold, son of Prince 

Antony of HohenzoUem-Sigmaringen, and brother of Prince 

Charles, who had been made King of Roumania, was mentioned 

as a candidate, but a scion of the Royal House of Prussia would 

certainly be distasteful to the French. Other candidates were 

Amadeo of Italy, Archduke Charles of Austria, Prince Alfred of 

Great Britain. The Unionists worked for the Due de Mont- 

pensier, who had married Queen Isabella's sister ; the Progressists, 

for Ferdinand of Cobuig, who had married Donna Maria, Queen 

of Portugal. Salazar, a Deputy, issued a paper advocating 

Leopold of Hohenzollem, a Cathohc by religion, thirty-five years 

of age, an officer in the Prussian army, and very distantly redated 

to the Prussian Royal family. He was connected in various ways 

with the Royal family of Portugal and the Bonapartes. Another 

possibiUty was to recall the son of Isabella, the Prince of Asturias, 

but this Prussia declared impracticable. 

fltaveh for It was difficult to discover what were the views of Bismarck, 

a Eiag. but it was supposed that King WiUiam would not give his consent 

to the adoption of Prince Leopold. After much discussion the 

Unionists decided in favour of a monarchical constitution, and 

until a king was foimd Serrano was made Regent and Prim 

Prime Minister. The search after a sovereign continued. 

Ferdinand of Portugal definitely refused; so did the Due de 

Genoa. Salazar was sent to soimd the HohenzoUems, but neither 

Prince Antony nor Prince Leopold seemed inclined to accept the 

onerous task. 


At the beginning of 1870 the crown of Charles V. still went LeopoM ©f 
begging, but the wishes of Spain seemed to incline towards Hohen- 
Leopold of HohenzoUem, and Salazar was indefatigable in his j^S^ ^^ 
advocacy. He went to Berlin and found the King doubtful, spmiigh 
Bismarck favourable. On March 15th, 1870, a council was held Crown. 
at Berlin, at which were present the King, the Crown Prince, 
Princes Antony and Leopold, together with Bismarck, Moltke, 
Roon, Schleinitz, Thile and Delbriick. The Prussians pleaded 
for the acceptance, but Leopold first hesitated and then refused. 
Prince Antony, who was anxious for the aggrandisement of his 
family, suggested his younger son Fritz, who refused the offer 
unless positively commanded by King William to accept it. His 
father was ambitious for the glory of his house ; but, in order 
that Fritz might be a serious candidate, it was necessary that 
Leopold should abandon all idea of the enterprise. The affair 
ended by the positive refusal of Leopold and Fritz, and everyone 
believed that the danger was at an end. 

No sooner was the negotiation closed than the Catholic Hohen- Final 
zoUems began to repent of what they had done. The military l>««Wwi of 
sense of King William was annoyed at this vacillation ; but ^'••^P**"* 
Bismarck, who was at Vienna in bad health, still ardently wished 
for the German candidature. He advised Prim to say nothing 
at Berlin, but address himself directly to Sigmaringen, where 
Prince Antony resided. Salazar arrived there on June 19th, 
just a month before the actual declaration of war. Leopold gave 
his consent, and on the following day King William was asked to 
agree also. He viewed the matter with some indifference, and 
seemed inclined to leave it entirely to the decision of Leopold. 
Until now the negotiations had been secret, and Prim intended 
that they should remain so for the present. But in southern 
nations secrecy in matters of this kind is difficult, and at the 
beginning of July reports as to what had happened began to be 
current in Madrid, and the French Ambassador demanded an 
explanation, which Prim was imable to give. 

The news of the fatal resolution of the HohenzoUem candi- Qnmmlhi 
datiure reached the French Foreign Office on July 3rd. It was Imperipm 
the first serious business with which Gramont had to deal. "•"■•■■• 
He adopted the worst possible course, and sent an imperious 
message to Berlin. There was no one to receive it — the King was 
at Ems ; the Chancellor, Bismarck, at Varzin ; Benedetti at 
Wildbad. The dispatch was opened by the French Secretary, 
who sought an interview with the Prussian Secretary, Thile, who 
alleged entire ignorance of the business. It was the season when 



War at 

The FrttBeh 

and King 

all diplomats were taking their annual rest, and when the repose 
of the world is such as to suggest that, if statesmen were always 
on their holidays, no serious quarrels between nations would ever 
take place. But on July 5th the newspapers gave the news to 
the world, and the Chanceries of Europe were in a blaze. 
Gramont did not hesitate to declare that Prussian approval of 
the candidature would mean war. 

July 6th was a date of destiny for France. There was an 
interpellation in the Chamber and a coimcil at St. Cloud. 
Gramont was impetuous, OUivier moderate, and the Emperor 
seriously unwell. He was surroimded by the military party, 
who urged him to war, the Empress surpassing Gramont in 
vehemence. But was France ripe for war? Leboeuf promised 
an army of 300,000 men, of whom 250,000 men would be ready 
in four days, and the rest ten days later. It appeared that she 
could count on the sympathy of Italy, the neutraUty of Southern 
Germany, and the moral support of Austria, but nothing definite 
had been arranged. A reply had to be drawn up to the interpella- 
tion in the Chamber. Unfortunately it took a form which was 
not conciUatory, and when it became pubUc the telegraph flashed 
the news all over Europe that war was at hand. 

During the night of July 7th Benedetti was ordered to proceed 
from Wildbad to Ems, where he arrived late in the evening of 
July 8th. At Coblenz he received a public dispatch and a private 
letter from Gramont. The dispatch merely ordered him to advise 
the King to ask Prince Leopold to withdraw his acceptance ; the 
private letter said that he was to demand from the King not 
merely a disapproval of the Hohenzollem candidature, but an 
order to Prince Leopold to withdraw the acceptance which he 
had given without his permission. He went on to say that 
unless the King gave a satisfactory answer the mobihsation of 
the French troops would begin immediately, that no evasive 
answer would be tolerated, and that unless the King disavowed 
the acceptance of Prince Leopold war would be declared. 

Benedetti had an interview with the King on the afternoon of 
July 9th. King William distinguished between his position as 
head of the Hohenzollem family and his position as Sovereign 
of Prussia. In his former capacity he could not interfere with 
the action of Prince Antony or Prince Leopold ; as representing 
Prussia, his country had no more to do with the matter than 
any other Power in Europe. He had asked the intentions of 
his kinsmen, but as yet had received no reply. When the 
answer came he would communicate with Benedetti. 



During this time Gramont was in a fever of anxiety at Paris, QranMift 
and the account of the interview which he received by tel^^raph J^**^ *• 
on the morning of July loth excited rather than reassured him. ppn^ii^ 
He would not be satisfied with a refusal from Sigmaringen ; he 
must have it from the King himself. He was possessed by a fatal 
desire to humihate Prussia. July loth passed quietly at Ems, but 
in violent unrest on the Quai d'Orsay. Gramont wrote in the 
evening to Benedetti : " We cannot delay any longer ; we cannot 
allow Prussia to make her preparations. We are waiting for 
your answer to mobiUse 300,000 men. If the King will not advise 
Prince Leopold to refuse, war will immediately follow, and in a 
few days we shall be on the Rhine." At i a.m. he telegraphed, 
" We must have an answer to-morrow ; the day after to-morrow 
will be too late." 

On the morning of Monday, July nth, a council was held at King 
St. Cloud to discuss the miUtary preparations. The legislative WiUiam't 
body had not met since Saturday, and the populace thronged the ^^^^ 
approaches to the Palais Bourbon, eager for news. Gramont 
was obliged to tell the Chambers when they met that he had 
nothing definite to communicate. On the same day Benedetti 
had an interview of an hour's diuation with the King at Ems. 
WiUiam held to the statement that he could not withdraw from 
a consent already given, and that the decision must depend upon 
Prince Leopold and his father, from whom he had not heard. He 
advised patience on the part of the French if they desired to avoid 

At the same time the situation at Sigmaringen became increas- A Difflenlt 
ingly difficult. It was obvious that a HohenzoUem candidature SituAtion. 
woidd precipitate a European war. Prussia was herself afraid 
and subjected to pressure from the Courts of Europe to withdraw 
the proposal. Prince Antony, who owed the election of his son 
Charles to the throne of Roumania to the good offices of Francis 
Joseph, began to fear that Francis Joseph might destroy what he 
had created, and that, in attempting to gain the crown for his 
family, he might lose both ; and the Emperor William sent 
a private intimation to Sigmaringen that he would be glad of a 

But pubUc opinion in France became more and more Oramont's 
impatient, and Gramont allowed himself to be carried away by P«»ta**"«- 
it. He telegraphed to Benedetti at i p.m. on July nth that 
he must press the King more closely, that France could not admit 
the distinction between head of the House of Hohenzollern and 
chief of the Prussian Monarchy, that the King must forbid Prince 



Leopold to persevere in his candidature, and that on the next 
day the failure to answer would be regarded as a refusal. 
^'GoaFan- There was no need for these vehement messages. On the 

teei for^the morning of July I2th Prince Antony telegraphed to Prim that 

he withdrew his son's acceptance. A dupUcate of this telegram 
was sent to Paris and came to the knowledge of Ollivier at noon, 
and he commimicated it immediately to the Chambers. Unfor- 
tunately the war party in France was not satisfied. Prussia had 
not been humiliated ; the pacific message had passed between 
Sigmaringen and Madrid, and the King had taken no part in it. 
The fatal expression, " Guarantees for the future," made its 
appearance, and a telegram was sent to Benedetti at 7 p.m. on 
July I2th, ordering him to see the King immediately to ask him 
to declare that he associated himself with the action of Prince 
Antony, and that he would never give his consent to a similar 
candidature. The circumstances which produced this telegram 
have been related and analysed by Ollivier. We must conclude 
that in taking this step the Emperor was as much to blame as 
the Foreign Minister, that he did not sufficiently insist on 
his authority, and that he allowed steps to be taken by his 
subordinates which he would not have initiated himself. 

Benedetti was shocked at Gramont's telegram. He saw that 
to ask for future guarantees would mean war, and at the same 
time he felt it his duty to do as he had been told. At German 
baths it is the custom to go to the spring at 6 o'clock in the 
morning to drink the waters and Usten to the band. Benedetti 
went there as usual, hoping to see some member of the King's 
suite. He did meet one, and was telling him that he must see 
the Sovereign when King Wilham himself appeared. He went 
up to the ambassador, who informed him of the decision of Prince 
Ajitony, but that the determination of Sigmaringen could have 
no value imless it were approved of by the King, and that it was 
essential that France should have a guarantee that the candidature 
would not be renewed. 
King The King, siupiised and annoyed at these words, said that 

wuiiam't he was completely ignorant of the action of Prince Antony, and 
ABBoyance. ^j^^^ ^^ ^^^ impossible to give the guarantees asked for. Benedetti 

continued to press for the answer he wished for, and the King, 
much amazed, said, " You ask for a new and unexpected con- 
cession which I cannot consent to," and dismissed his interlocutor 
brusquely, but without discourtesy. The message which the 
King declared he had not received from Sigmaringen arrived in 
the middle of the day, and Prince Radziwill, a Royal aide-de- 



camp, was dispatched at once to Benedetti's hotel to inform him 
that Prince Leopold had declined the throne of Spain and that 
the King considered the incident completely closed. 

Benedetti was disappointed at not having a personal interview TIm k1b< 
with the King. The reason was that the King had become aware Heftuti to 
of the form of renimciation which Gramont had suggested, and S^^^^ 
determined not to see Benedetti. The ambassador, ignorant of 
this, asked Radziwill to remind the King of his promise to see 
him again and his desire to obtain guarantees for the future. At 
half-past four RadziwiU returned and replied that the King 
approved of the refusal as he had before approved of the accept- 
ance, but could give no guarantees for the future. Benedetti 
persisted in demanding an audience, but at half-past five came 
the answer that the King had said everything he had to say and 
had nothing more to add. 

Bismarck now suddenly took a step which brought about the BlmmNk 
war he had so earnestly desired. He kept in the background at P»«lpi*ft*M 
Varzin, not returning to Berlin until the chance of rupture seemed "' 
more promising. He was piqued when King WiUiam b^an to 
treat directly with Benedetti, and on July 12th, when everything 
appeared to be settled, announced his intention of returning to 
Varzin ; but the violent language of the French Press and the 
Chambers induced him to stay in the capital He next did what 
in private affairs would be thought to be infamous : he stirred up 
enmity between two antagonists who were on the point of coming 
to terms. He refused to admit that the quarrel was at an end, 
and by a master-stroke rendered peace impossible. 

A tel^[ram from the King giving his account of the interview Blmwupck, 
with Benedetti on the morning of July 13th reached Bismarck ?****^J^ 
on the evening of the same day, just as he was going to dinner with ^^ ^^^ 
Moltke and Roon. All three were disgusted to find that there 
was still a chance of peace. The last sentence of the dispatch 
allowed Bismarck to decide whether he would communicate what 
had occurred to the ambassadors and the newspapers. This gave 
him an opportunity of modifying the dispatch in the interest of 
war. He asked Moltke how long it would take him to complete 
his preparations in case war should break out. The Chief of the 
Staff replied that the sooner it was begim the better. Bismarck 
thereupon set to work, as he said, adding nothing, omitting 
nothing, but making certain suppressions. These suppressions 
represented the negotiations as broken off, instead of being still 
in suspense. Moltke and Roon approved highly of the emenda- 
tions. Bismarck explained that it was essential that Prussia 
ffi ijy 


WmmA^m in 
Fftrig and 






should be attacked by France, and that, if this altered dispatch 
were communicated to all the embassies and became known in 
Paris, it would act like a red cloth upon the Gallic bull. 

That evening Bismarck's dispatch was distributed gratuitously 
in the streets of Berlin, as a supplement to the North German 
Gazette, and passions rose to fever heat. In Prussia it was believed 
that the French Ambassador had insulted the King ; in Paris that 
the King had insulted the ambassador. Crowds assembled in 
both capitals in the middle of the night, the one shouting " To 
Paris ! " the other " To Berlin ! " 

At this very moment peace might yet have been preserved. 
France had committed two great blunders, one the declaration of 
July 6th, the other the demand for guarantees. But a sentiment 
in favour of peace was in being in the French Cabinet. Lord 
GranviUe, on behalf of Great Britain, was acting the part of 
mediator. In the afternoon of July 14th a council was held at 
the Tuileries. One of the Ministers begged the Emperor not to 
ruin his country and throne by war. He said that the Emperor 
and the King were not on equal terms ; the King might lose many 
battles, but to the Emperor a single defeat would mean revolution. 

Leboeuf declared, as before, that his army was absolutely 
ready, that it had an advantage of a fortnight over that of Prussia, 
and that if war were not made now the opportunity might not 
occur again. Indeed, he clamoured for immediate mobilisation^ 
threatening his resignation if it were not granted, and losing his 
temper with those who argued against him. At 4, before the 
council had broken up, he drove to the Rue St. Dominique, and 
gave the necessary oiders to mobilise. The council continued to 
sit at the Tuileries, the members arguing and disputing like the 
Committee of Public Safety at the time of the Terror. A proposi- 
tion for a congress was welcomed eagerly by the Emperor, who 
sent a message to restrain Leboeuf's zeal an hour after he had left 
the palace. Ollivier drew up a declaration in favour of peace, 
which was to be read in the Chamber on the following day. 

The Cabinet returned in the evening to St. Cloud, downcast and 
dispirited, not even daring to hope for the holding of a congress. 
There the Empress was found, incensed at the conduct of Prussia 
and furious for war. Gramont, on entering his office in the 
Quai d'Orsay, received a sheaf of dispatches which reported in 
various tones Bismarck's paragraph in the North German Gazette. 
He complained to Ollivier that he could no longer tolerate the 
bitter insults of Prussia. Leboeuf clamoured for a fresh council 
which should repeat the order for mobilisation. It was held at 




St. Cloud at 10 in the evening, but some of the more pacific of 
the ministers were not present. However, when the majority 
appeared to be in favour of peace, the Empress intervened. She 
said that peace was incompatible with the honour of France, and 
was supported strongly by Leboeuf . But it was eventually decided 
that the order for mobilisation should be held back. The field of 
debate was now transferred to the Chamber, and there, after 
prolonged discussion, war was decided upon. Gramont said 
afterwards in his own defence, " I decided upon war with an 
absolute confidence in victory. I believed in the greatness of my 
country, its greatness, its strength, its warlike virtues, as I believe 
in my holy religion." These brave words expressed the feelings 
of many others. 

On the same day, July 15th, King William travelled from War 
Coblenz to Berlin, and was received everywhere with addresses '■•I'itaMa, 
expressing devotion to the throne. At the station of Branden- 
burg he was met by the Crown Prince, Moltke, Roon, Bismarck 
and Thile. An informal coimcil was held in the waiting-room, 
and when it was over the Crown Prince said to those who were 
standing near, " Mobilisation is ordered." Some final attempts at 
conciliation, notably on the part of the Southern States, came to 
nothing. France and Prussia were straining for war, and nothing 
could stop them, and on July 19th, the jday of the meeting of the 
Reichstag, the declaration of war by France was received at Berlin. 

Nothing could be more different than the condition of the two The RiTal 
armies which were about to contend for the mastery of Europe, Aimlei 
and nothing could be more divergent than the popular opinion ^^'•"P*'*** 
about the strength and character of the two forces and the facts 
as they actually were. The French army had long been looked 
up to as a pattern for aU European armies, its oiganisation being 
carefully studied in other countries. The idea prevailed that 
the French had a genius for warfare, which was the backbone of 
their strength, whereas Prussia was held up to ridicule for its 
supposed pedantry in military affairs. No one in France, or out 
of it, had the smallest notion that this magnificent fabric was 
rotten at the core and would crumble into pieces before its better- 
oiganised and sounder antagonist. 

In 1870 the principle of liability to miUtary service was 
acknowledged by French law just as fully as in Germany ; but 
in France, as we have seen, the rule of conscription prevailed — 
that is, the siunmoning of only a certain portion of the nation to 
arms, instead of universal military service, which is a veiy different 
matter. In France, among other exceptions, anyime was allowed 



to proride a BiAxstinite itAio vofoSea par for it. 
tlir dull tf pcarBOBal serrkxr V2e> ixDpcised od even 

tc sockitT, ladced ilie f^lffiiifgiff ad 

Difs^ K> ]azi§<eh' into tli! 
cn^cT. cfifv" ufa^Bi wsnled irom ^k dass of iifi^ 
vdidies' a USX -irai> ic> be a wdSxa: or nai. ano anct i. 
vas ahraT^- ^ 5»:ttdxsr. Faixs vere taksD to ^ 
conian writ tih- tjiig g u t'. it* isdlate '^'^■mt^ in bacnasiBE^ anc Tunnis. 
lo aTcid bilfpam: liexr ispoo 'ds- 2idabiXBix&. sc ibo: iBt amvr 
padixslhr tiecamE: ^ imiitarr casLC:. Tfasr 'Gennai: aoixr. ik 'Ik 

TTHT I TOT . r Ji a J HLIlFi 

iHiir a mum 

lor rnhTjTp. cfBasnrr sue riwr kmc a: imr I'i'iut. inn 

j z' iHL icr "icHT a: 3f^ hii£ "flit 

pajKS- t^ rrrmsasc re a:*: .icc jbsl, aoif :3ac ai Ljiiimd- "3it lEBr m 

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'^ am •HTDCiiripsc m i r * "^asL lac .to: ■■»''"■' } anf ir. JiBC' raraiirr. 

IVzxssBa zD7eiUE«d ler snrr anf 'ncsczDCL " ^ ^ ""^^ Tbt mar of 
liCc damiBPC Tic he i^ ' » ' i if ^kx: i»:«r Tn»r -wnDiL lie mailhr 
aim'VcTar* t: imc*: Tie ^ i wmu M ant Xirri Grsmum arnufs. 

ifcRBFT C7VSL ac azTJ-iuic oS. 

iir i. :a2&sL a. iiu rnisscsef. a^ -v; iorx^ iaoL. if aL nessuns "v^ 


33: saCfiCCXIE& -IKT ^WR JIBDK tC' 

farxs- "wm«i ■■■mimir in tJODt 

rac TTamr-"i;rjjLZ*r re "'^^ t>rr araer ^^is 3ifw 

5 it 

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r!tr. iad b»s£ ji:u > i c. :o 



gradually introduced into the South German States as well. Its 
main principle was to secure that in time of peace those who were 
liable to active service should also be fit for it, so that when they 
met the enemy they should be perfectly trained and instructed. 
For this purpose a period of twelve years' service was imposed upon 
the whole nation, consisting of three years in the standing army, 
four years in the Reserve, and five years in the Landwehr, there 
being in the four years of the Reserve two terms of training of 
eight weeks each, and in the five years of the Landwehr two periods 
of from eight to fourteen days each. 

The contrast between the two armies was still more apparent Pnuala'i 
in their mobiUsation. In Germany the plan which had been MoMllsfttloB 
formed to provide a maximmn force under arms at any time, ^^•■'•' 
originally excellent, had been improved by constant study and 
elaboration, even up to the last moment. It was based upon 
minute decentralisation, each unit of the German mihtary system 
being organised by itself, but yet with due subordination to the 
whole. If a new branch or section of a railway were opened for 
traffic, the entire service of time-tables was altered, if need be, 
to furnish fresh facihties for transport. The greatest diligence 
was shown in obtaining information about foreign countries. 
The German staff maps of France, especially of the country east 
of Paris, laid down roads which in Jtdy, 1870, were not incQcated 
on any map issued by the French War Office. In 1870 the army 
of the North German States, with a peace establishment of 12,000 
officers, 285,000 men, and 73,000 horses, was augmented, in the 
short space of from eight to ten days, to a war establishment 
of 22,000 officers, 932,000 men, and 192,000 horses, equipped 
with everything which an army requires in the field. This gigantic 
task could never have been performed unless every constituent 
part had done its share of the work with the greatest diligence and 
rapidity, each wheel working with its fellows with pimctuaUty 
and precision ; nor could this have been effected without decen- 
tralisation of the military administration, division and partition 
of labour, and constant provision in peace for the exigencies of 

When King WiUiam of Prussia arrived at Berlin in the evening 
of July 15th, 1870, he at once sanctioned Moltke's orders, which 
were immediately transmitted to the officers commanding the 
several army corps. By regular and prearranged stages, each corps 
was gradually but swiftly developed into its full proportions, and 
was ready to start for the frontiers as a finished product. The men 
were supplied with arms, clothing, and equipments from the local 



depots, and horses were called up by requisition or bought, and 
transport was obtained. All the needs of a complete army corps 
were easily met, because they had been ascertained and provided 
for beforehand. The whole of the operations were carried out in 
the short space of eighteen days. More than 300,000 combatants, 
with everything they required, were conveyed to their appointed 
places on the day specified, in accordance with a scheme calculated 
and drawn out two years before. 

The mobilisation of the French army was a complete contrast 
?j"2^' to that of the Prussian. The territorial oiganisation which pre- 
vailed in Germany did not exist in France. A peasant in Provence 
might be called upon to join a raiment quartered in Brittany, 
or a workman employed in Bordeaux be called up to the Pas de 
Calais, and, when they arrived, they might discover that their 
r^[iment had marched to Alsace or Lorraine. During the first 
fortnight after the declaration of war, thousands of reserve men 
were travelling to and fro over France in search of their c(»nrades. 
When Leboeuf 's assertion that the army was ready was becoming 
one of the principal reasons for declaring war, the marshal was 
asked what he meant, and replied : " I mean that the army is 
perfectly equipped in every respect, that it will not require the 
provision of a single gaiter button for a year to come." " EUe 
est archipriire." This statement was afterwards foimd to be 
absolutely false. At the beginning of the war France possessed 
only one completely formed corps d'armie, the Army of the Rhine, 
at Metz, and a second stationed at the camp of Chilons commanded 
by Frossard. All the other corps had to be provided out of garrison 
troops, and the entire staff to be made up in haste. The armament 
of Strasburg was not begtm till August 4th, and on July 20th 
there was not sufficient food in the fortresses of Metz and Thion- 
ville, and a million rations had to be sent from Paris, while on 
July 25th there was neither biscuit nor salt meat in the fortresses 
of M^zidres and Sedan. 

All the regiments were far short of their military strength, 
and there was a great deficiency of ready money, Failly at Bitsch 
BottcTthan ^^* having the wherewithal to pay his troops. While the German 
the Freneh. soldiers were adequately supplied with maps of France brought 
well up to date, the French had only maps of Germany, intended 
for service in that coimtry, but none of their own land. Owing 
to careful previous preparation, the German officers had a far 
more intimate knowledge of the country through which they passed 
than the French inhabitants themselves. On July 21st General 
Michel sent the following telegram to Paris : '' Have arrived at 



Bdfort, cannot find my brigade ; cannot find the general of 
division. What shall I do ? '' 

Let us now consider the position of the two armies at the end Potltta of 
of July. The main army of the French, 200,000 strong, was placed **^ Ooateai- 
in and near Metz, and was called the Army of the Rhine, although ^ «""••• 
it had little connection with that river. On July 28th this force 
was joined by the Emperor, the Prince Imperial and Leboeuf. 
To the east was the Southern Army under MacMahon, Duke of 
Magenta, about 100,000 strong. To this army were attached the 
African troops and the Zouaves, who, though wearing an African 
dress, were mainly of Parisian origin. This army lay in the direc- 
tion of Alsace, and its advance guard, under Douay, was on the 
Rhine. In the camp of Chalons was a third army, consisting mainly 
of reservists and mobiles, very imperfectly drilled. Besides these 
armies, a fleet was sailing from Cherbourg through the Channel 
with the object of cruising in the North Sea and the Baltic. The 
Germans were also divided into three great sections. The first, 
61,000 strong, under Steinmetz, formed the right wing ; the second, 
imder Prince Frederick Charles, 206,000 strong, together with 
the third, under the Crown Prince of Prussia, with 180,000 men, 
formed the left wing. A central army was tmder the King himself, 
with Moltke as Chief of the Staff. It has been calculated that 
the whole German forces amounted to 984,500 men, and those 
of the French to 798,000, but the numbers actually brought into 
the field were considerably smaller. OUivier, writing in December, 
1910, estimated the number of men actually ready for action 
at 426,723, and attributed the failure of the campaign, not to 
the false calculations of suppUes, but to the inherent faults of 

The Emperor left St. Cloud to join the army in the morning Prid* of tlie 
of July 28th, accompanied by the Prince Imperial. Dr. Evans, ■■»»■•. 
the American dentist, who was with him at the time, says that 
he was silent and out of spirits, seeming to anticipate disaster. 
As he picked up various wdl-loved trinkets to place them in his 
travelling-bag, his eyes were full of tears. On the other hand, 
the Empress was radiant with joy and hope, and did her best to 
rouse her husband. She brought into the room the latest copy of 
The Times and read extracts from it. She was passionate for 
the war. " It is my war," she proudly claimed, but she had 
httle cause to be proud of it in the sequel. 

The Emperor entered Metz on the same day at six in the 
evening. He lodged at the prefecture, but the headquarters were 
at the Hdtel de TEurope. A council was held immediately, but 



of Fire.** 

A HailoB 


it merely took the form of a conversation. The Emperor, on 
retiring, was beset with demands from all sides for men, horses, 
and military stores. Thirty anonymous letters denounced the 
incapacity of the generals and demanded their dismissal. The 
reservists came in very slowly and were found to be dangerously 
incompetent, many of them even not knowing how to use the 
chassepot. It was found that the numbers were far below the 
estimates. Everything was in confusion, no order was kept, and 
strangers, tourists, soldiers' wives, newspaper reporters, wandered 
about freely in the passages of the hotd. It is said that the 
hotel at Metz was fuU of German spies. 

The first action of the campaign was an attack on Saarbriick, 
a small town on the River Saar, which divided it into two parts, 
the railway station and the suburb of Saint Jean being on the 
right bank. The operation was important, provided it included 
the seizure of the station and the destruction of the tel^;raph. 
This, however, was not done. The battle began at nine in the 
morning of August 2nd. Attacked by a largely superior force 
the Prussians retired by the bridge across the stream. Here the 
movement stopped, llie Prussian loss in killed and wounded 
was eighty-three men, but the French had succeeded in occup3dng 
a portion of Prussian territory. The French papers boasted : 
" Saarbriick has once more become a French city ; the splendid 
coal district on the Saar is French property. Saarbriick is the 
first stage ; we shall soon reach the last, Berlin." The Emperor 
wrote to the Empress that the Prince Imperial had received his 
" baptism of fire," and that the first shots from the mitrailleuses 
had produced a wonderful effect. The French made no further 
advance, but fortified their position on the left bank of the Saar, 
the Emperor returning to Metz. 

King William left Berlin on July 31st. He was full of anxiety, 
but his counsellors were confident. Roon said that Germany 
had never seen a finer army ; Bismarck thought the Emperor 
must clearly repent of his conduct ; Charles of Roumania wrote 
that in two months Napoleon would be conquered and his power 
destroyed ; Moltke was in raptures at the successful canying 
out of his plans. Steinmetz, on the right, opposed the 27,000 
of Ladmirault with double strength. Prince Frederick Charles, 
in the centre, had 194,000 men to resist the armies of Bazaine, 
Frossard, Failly and Bourbaki, whose commands, even if the 
reserves of Canrobert be added, would not exceed 140,000 men. 
On the left, the Crown Prince could meet MacMahon's 44,000 men 
with a force of 130,000. Besides these, reinforcements were pouring 



in from every quarter of Germany. The French had to fight a 
nation in arms. 

The Third Army, that of the Crown Prince, would open the 
campaign. It was posted between Landau, Germersheim and '*•■■• 
Speyer, and, with the exception of the Wurtemberg and Baden 
troops, was on the left bank of the Rhine. It was to pass the 
Lauter, spread over Lower Alsace, beat MacMahon, and cut him 
off from the rest of the Army of the Rhine. The other armies 
would approach the Sa6ne, enter Lorraine, and attack the main 
forces of the enemy. The King entered Mainz, the new head- 
quarters, at 7 a.m. on August 2nd, and heard there of the engage- 
ment of Saarbriick, which Moltke considered as of no importance. 

It was settled that the Crown Prince should answer this attack Battle of 
by crossing the Lauter on August 3rd. The first great battle of *•*"•■- 
the war was to be fought at a place well known in the wars of ^'^ 
the Spanish Succession, called Weissenberg by the Germans and 
Wissenboiu-g by the French. It was now a decayed town situated 
on the Lauter, which ran through it. It had three gates, caUed 
by the names of Landau, Bitsch and Hagenau. On both sides 
of it extended the once famous lines of Weissenberg, celebrated 
in the campaigns of Marlborough. The Bale express passes 
through them on its way from Strassburg at the present day. 
The town Ues close to the frontiers of Alsace and Bavaria, and the 
inhabitants of mixed races are very friendly with each other. 
The surroimding hills are outliers of the Vosges. Against this 
town 70,000 Prussian troops were marching on August 3rd. 

Douay was in a position of false security, looking for an enemy Donay't 
which he could not find, when, at 8.30 on the morning of August 8i»Frt«*« 
4th, he was surprised by some German bombs being fired into 
the centre of the town. What was he to do ? He had 5,800 
infantry, 900 cavalry, 18 guns, and Ducrot was nine miles off, 
separated by a mountain pass. But he did not believe in a serious 
attack and prepared to defend himself. The struggle took place 
in three centres — the banks of the Lauter, the town itself, and the 
Gaisberg. The Turcos defended the river bravely against the 
Bavarians, but, from the summit of the Gaisberg, Douay saw the 
serried masses of the Prussians approaching irresistibly. The 
Gaisberg itself was shelled and in danger of being surroimded. 
Douay gave the order to retreat, but at that moment was mortally 
wounded and carried to a farm, where he died. The town was 
then stormed and taken after a gallant resistance, the brunt of 
which fell upon the Turcos. An attack was then made upon the 
Gaisberg, which dominated the surrounding country and was 




crowned by a strong castle, and eventually the French lines were 
broken, and the heights stormed. The French sullenly retired from 
their camp, and the remaining companies which were occupying 
the castle were compelled to surrender at 2 p.m., having lost 
seventy-four men killed and wounded. Seven hundred men were 
taken prisoners. 
A Complete MacMahon was at Strassbuig when he heard of the attack 
^^•■^•'" on Weissenbeig. He immediately left by train, but, finding that 
method of progress difiicult, mounted his horse and joined Ducrot, 
who, being on the other side of a mountain pass, knew little of 
what had happened. The two generals climbed to the Col du 
Pigeonnier, from which the whole extent of the catastrophe was 
manifest. The disaster was complete and irremediable. It was 
obvious the Germans were intending a general attack, and it 
became the duty of the marshal to resist it. The Sauer, rising 
in the Lower Vosges, after passing Lembach, flows from south 
to north, to W6rth, and then reaches the Rhine. 
Bftttle of Here MacMahon chose a strong position, where the chain of 

steep hills, partly wooded, completely dominates the ground on 
the left bank of the Sauer, a chain with steep banks offering a 
serious obstacle to the advance of the enemy. He strengthened 
his position by rifle-pits, trenches, abattis, fieldworks, batteries, 
and wire fences. He took up his position on the morning of 
August 6th, having no information of the line on which the enemy 
was to approach. He placed Ducrot on the left wing with the 
first division, Raoult with the third division in the centre, holding 
the village of Worth, at the passage over the Sauer, strongly occupied. 
The fourth division, \mder De I'Artigue, was on the right, holding 
the lower wood, with part of his troops thrown-back at right angles 
— a formation known in military language as en potence — opposite 
to the village of Morsbrunn. He had, at first, intended to fight 
a purely defensive battle, and had ordered the bridges over the 
Sauer at Gorsdorff , Worth and Gimstett, to be destroyed, but he 
changed his mind and left them standing. MacMahon fixed 
his headquarters at Froeschweiler, after which the French named 
the battle. He commanded 35,000 infantry, 6,000 cavalry, and 
130 gims. 

It is curious that neither commander had made up his mind 
to fight a decisive battle on this day. MacMahon was beset by 
advisers who uiged him to retreat to the Vosges instead of contend- 
ing against forces double his own in niunber, and he would have 
done so if he had not expected the arrival of Failly. The Crown 
Prince had made up his mind to fight on August 7th, and gave 



pressing orders that the battle should be stopped. Howevei, 
fate prevailed, and the battle was fought and won. 

The Crown Prince occupied the heights on the left bank of Oaptan of 
the Sauer from Worth to Gunstett, having 90,000 men opposed ^•'*h« 
to 40,000. Soon after 8 a.m. he began an attack on Wdrth; 
by II the Prussian artiUery had proved itself superior, and orders 
were given to storm the village. In the meantime the French 
attack on Gunstett was repulsed, and Worth was carried soon 
after noon despite an obstinate resistance. Both of the vigorous 
attempts of the French to recover it were unsuccessful At 1.30 
the Crown Prince gave orders to continue the fighting, contrary 
to his original intention. 

Then came the most obstinate part of the struggle, the taking FU|ht of 
of Froeschweiler, the heights to the east of this being strongly tho 
occupied and partly fortified. The third French division fought 
splendidly, their commander, Raoult, being killed. It was not 
until after the fourth attack that the Prussians gained possession 
of the ground. The French, led by MacMahon, made a desperate 
attempt to retake Elsasshausen, but the Prussians succeeded in 
holding it. It was now possible to make a concentric attack 
on Froeschweiler, and the village was stormed at 3.30, and 1,000 
prisoners were taken. After the loss of Froeschweiler further 
resistance became impossible. The French army broke up and 
fied in two directions, some to Reichshofen and some to Jagersthal. 
The Prussians bivouacked on the field of battle, the cavalry being 
pushed forward to Reichshofen. The troops which fled to Hagenau, 
and were forwarded by rail to Strassburg, produced there the 
utmost consternation. 

On August 7th the bulk of the army rallied at Saveme, and Fnuioe 
when the roll was called it was foimd that 20,000 men had dis- ^ ***• 
appeared, being either killed, wounded or missing. Froeschweiler 
proved the grave of the army of the Second Empire, brave but 
undisciplined, presumptuous and brilliant, despising study, but 
passionate lovers of danger. After the victories of Africa, Sebastopol 
and Lombardy, they imagined that fortune could never be unfaithful 
to them. MacMahon's army had done everything which courage 
could do, but could not defend its country. Alsace had been 
invaded, the enemy had reached the crest of the Vosges, and on 
the following day they could cross them and overrun the plains of 

August 6th, 1870, was marked, not only by the destructicm 
of the Army of Alsace, but by the defeat of the Army of Lorraine. 
After the Battle of Saarbriick on August 2nd nothing was done. 






of the 

The two next days were spent in vain imaginings about the move- 
ments of the enemy. The news of the defeat of Weissenberg 
arrived on the evening of August 4th. It showed the rapidity 
of the Prussian movements. The Crown Prince had crossed the 
Lauter, when would Steinmetz and Prince Frederick Charles 
cross the Saar ? Both generals were on the road, and expected 
to reach the French frontier about August 6th. Frossard was 
certain to be attacked first. After the battle of August 2nd he 
had occupied, with a portion of his forces, the heights evacuated 
by the Prussians on that day, the Exercier Platz, the Nussberg, 
the Galgenbeig, the Winterberg. Knowing that he was in an 
exposed position, he suggested to the Emperor that he should 
retire to the plateau, which extends from Forbach to Saaigemiind, 
occupying Forbach, and Napoleon gave his consent, the movement 
to be carried out on the following day, August 6th. But as the 
day proceeded he became aware of the approach of the enemy^ 
and, fearing to be surrounded, b^an the operation at once. He 
was not, however, completely established at Forbach till long after 

The country which formed the battlefield was well known to 
Frossard, as he had completely examined it in 1867. It was 
composed of a number of wooded hills which surrounded the village 
of Spicheren. The railway from Saarbriick to Metz ran along a 
ravine, which reached first Stieringen and then Forbach. Frossard 
was in conrntiand of three divisions. The first he placed in the 
valley near Stieringen, protecting the high road, the railway and 
the town of Forbach, where heavy stores had been collected. The 
second, at Spicheren, guarded the country up to the Saar and 
beyond ; the third was held in reserve. The headquarters had 
been established at Forbach. 

On the morning of August 6th the Prussian scouts began to 
make their appearance. They occupied the suburb of St. Jean, 
on the other side of the river, and then the Exercier Platz, and 
the Galgenberg, which had been evacuated by the French. From 
their view of the Valley of Forbach and the heights of Spicheren,. 
it appeared as if the French were contemplating a retreat. Kameke 
obtained leave from Zastrow to cross the river, and to follow the 
French closely, in accordance with the Prussian traditional practice 
of pushing forward. He crossed the stream at 11 by bridges which 
had not been destroyed, and after a short hesitation determined 
to attack the enemy. 

The battle began by an artillery duel, which was soon followed 
by the advance of the Prussian columns. A severe struggle raged 


in the woods around Stieringen. Le Francois, a distinguished 
German general, was killed. The Germans were not very successful ; 
they had attempted too much, and, if they were broken, had the 
Saar at their backs. It is a maxim of war never to fight with a 
river in your rear. A Napoleon or a Marlborough would have 
seized the opportunity to inflict a crushing defeat, but Frossard 
was neither. Bazaine, whose name became afterwards so notorious, 
was equally incompetent, and failed to send the reinforcements 
which Frossard so earnestly requested. But the assistance, which 
the French were vainly expecting from Metz, came to the Prussians 
from Saarbnick. Goeben, Zastrow and Alvensleben arrived one 
after the other, about 3 in the afternoon, ready to take their 
proper places without delay or confusion. The Prussians continued 
the battle with forces constantly renewed, and were eventually 
able to occupy the woods of Stieringen. 

About 5 the French gained a slight advantage, but, as the Freneh 
sun sank, the German generals were filled with hope and Frossard *•*■••*• 
with despair. The three fatal bridges which had not been destroyed 
poured ever fresh masses against the doomed French. At last 
the final blow was given by the arrival of the 3rd German division, 
which had marched to the sound of the cannon. They were 
stubbornly resisted by a small body of French under Dulac, but 
at half-past seven Frossard was obliged to inform Bazaine of his 
intention to retreat. When the roll was called next morning the 
French had lost 2,000 killed and wounded, and 2,000 prisoners, 
but had saved their standards and guns. Throughout the night 
the steady tramp of retreating hosts was heard in the woods, and 
another province of France lay at the feet of the enemy. 

What were the faults and what the mischances that led Frossard Difftfwoes 
to his fate? At midday Metmas had been sent by Bazaine in J*]^'^ 
the direction of Forbach, but the order gave no indication that q^ ^ ^^ j^ 
a battle was in progress, or that Frossard needed help. At 3 
Metmas was within five or six miles of the battlefield, but stopped 
where he was and did nothing. An order from Bazaine at 4 gave 
no explanation, but a dispatch sent by Frossard with an earnest 
demand for assistance unfortunately went astray, and Metmas 
remained quietly in his place. At 7.30 he received an appeal 
from Frossard urging him to move, but did not reach Forbach 
till 9.30, when it was too late. 

Castigny behaved better. He did march to the sound of the 
guns, but, having reached what he considered a fine position, 
halted, and waited on events. The cannonade having ceased, 
he retired to Puttelange, but no sooner had he got there than 



the firing began again with a terrible din. It was then 5, but 
he began to march. Two hours later he met some fugitives from 
the battlefield, who told him that all was lost, so that he retired. 
I Montauban heard the cannon, but paused for orders from 

^^^^'^ Bazaine. At 3 he received orders to assist Frossard, but he 

'^^^ hastened slowly, and it was not until nightfall that he was within 

two miles of Forbach, and announced to Frossard that he was 
at his disposal. Then it was too late, for the battle was over. 

On August 7th the confused mass of fugitives came together 
at Puttelange in a terrible state of disorder and despair. Frossard's 
troops had lost everything ; they could not make soup, or provide 
shelter. They had the impression that, had they been properly 
led, victory might have been secured. As for Frossard, when he 
had superiority of nimibers he had displayed lack of insight and 
resolution. Bazaine had shown both incompetence and selfishness, 
and evidently did not care about a battle which he did not consider 
his own. 
PmiUui The issue of this battle exemplified the fundamental difference 

8«fertority. between the Prussians and the French. The victory was won by 
the rapid concentration on the field of numbers of troops belonging 
to a great variety of corps and divisions. The achievements of the 
Prussian army on August 6th could not have been accomplished, 
unless every officer had been zealous to hurry forward with energy 
and self-abandonment on hearing the voice of the cannon ; if 
he had not done so it might have been a day of defeat instead of 
victory. Although the chief command in the battle was changed 
four times, being held successively by Kameke, Stiilpnagel, 
Goeben and Zlastrow, there was the most perfect unity in the 
conduct of the engagement, testifying alike to the absence of 
personal jealousy and to uniformity of tactical system. 



About noon on August 6th a rumour was current in Paris that Hm lewi 

the Prussian army was defeated. The Marseillaise was sung ^ ^^"^ 

in the streets, and some decorations were exhibited. But the 

illusion did not last long. Just before midnight a report was 

received by the Empress from the Emperor, saying : " We are 

in full retreat ; we must rise to the occasion ; we must declare a 

state of siege and prepare for the defence of the capital. I have 

no news of MacMahon." The Cabinet was immediately summoned 

and met the Empress at the Tuileries. It was resolved to collect 

all available troops and defend Paris. The Ministers separated 

as dawn was breaking on Sunday morning. Early in the day 

the worst was known ; the north-eastern gate of France was open 

to the invading enemy. At 9 Paris heard of the catastrophe, 

and determination to make a brave resistance was coupled with 

demands for the deposition of the Emperor and the pimishment 

of the generals who had betrayed their country. The spirit of 

1792 was not dead. 

At Metz the first idea was to concentrate the third and fourth lapoleoB 
corps and the Guard at St. Avoid and attack the enemy in flank. JjjJJ** *^ 
A train was prepared to carry the Emperor into the heart of his iuw«!!![!l^ 
troops. Napoleon was already in his carriage when he heard 
that the railway station of Bomey was in possession of the enemy, 
and the line of retreat of the defeated army was not known. He 
therefore returned to the prefecture, and Leboeuf proceeded to 
St. Avoid alone, where he found Bazaine and Bourbaki, with 
whom he discussed many plans. One of these contemplated with- 
drawal to Ch&lons, leaving Alsace, Lorraine, and a laige portion 
of Champagne at the mercy of the enemy. The resignation of 
his military command by the Emperor was also mooted, and it 
was proposed he should resume the reins of government. Napoleon, 
however, refused to leave his soldiers. On August 8th the indecision 
continued, but it ended by the army retiring to the neighbourhood 
of Metz. Next day Napoleon transferred the command of the 
army to Bazaine, although he did not entirely surrender control 
of it. 




to Faris. 


of tlie 


In Paris the Chambers had been summoned to meet on August 
nth, but they met on August 9th. OUivier and Gramont showed 
a determmed spirit, but were violently attacked. The deposition 
of the Emperor was called for and the institution of a provisional 
government. The excitement grew, and the Deputies nearly 
came to blows. At last a vote was passed inviting the Cabinet 
to resign. Montauban, Count of Palikao, in command at Lyons, 
was summoned by the Empress to Paris, and made Minister of 
War. OUivier and his colleagues immediately surrendered their 
posts, and Montauban found himself at the head not only of 
the army but the Government as well. He appeared before the 
Chambers on August loth. When the members called upon him 
to speak louder, he said : " Pardon me, twenty-five years ago 
I received a bullet in my breast, and it is still there." 

A new Ministry was constructed, Latoiu* d'Auvergne becoming 
Minister of Foreign Affairs. The new Ministers did not occupy 
the Treasury Bench, but were dispersed throughout the House 
among the ordinary members. Leboeuf was deposed, and Bazaine 
was given command of the Army of the Rhine, great, but misplaced 
confidence being reposed in him. Bazaine represented to the 
Emperor that both Canrobert and MacMahon were senior to him- 
self, but the Emperor repUed that his appointment was demanded 
by pubhc opinion. This was followed, as we have said, by the 
Emperor's resignation of the command of the army. 

It was now determined to withdraw the whole army behind 
the Meuse in the direction of ChsLlons and Paris. The discussions 
on this point lasted a week, and the retreat did not begin till 
August 14th. It was desirable that the Emperor should return 
to Paris, but he would not imdertake the journey till he knew 
that his army was safely out of Metz. 

The war now enters into a new phase. MacMahon retired 
into the interior of France, followed by the third Prussian army. 
He halted in the plains of Champagne, oscillating between Paris 
and Metz. As he proceeded in a half-hearted and indecisive manner 
he suffered the defeat which destroyed him. At Metz the Prussians 
were endeavouring to cross the Moselle and throw themselves on 
the rear of the retreating enemy, and the French were endeavour- 
ing to liberate themselves from the net which entangled them 
and organise the defence of their country in the centre of France. 

In order to attain their purpose, the Germans had to alter 
their direction, turning themselves round gradually, and using 
the First Army, which remained at Metz, as a pivot. They had 
to move, first to the south and then to the west of the city. The 



two adversaries had a race which should first arrive at the high 
ground between the Moselle and the Meuse. The responsibUity 
of resisting these movements fell upon Bazaine, and his talents 
were not equal to the task. The successful carrying out of the 
Emperor's plan demanded the utmost energy and speed, but at 
the very moment when Bazaine should have been giving the 
necessary orders he was still hankering after another poUcy and 
longing to remain in Metz. However, on August 14th the retreat 
began. At midday the Cent Gardes and the Imperial carriages 
appeared before the prefecture and the Emperor and his son left 
in safety by the Porte de France. The troops followed about 
4 p.m. Nothing was left to the north of the city except the third 
army corps and part of the fourth. Suddenly a cannonade was 
heard, and the Battle of Bomy had begun. 

The country through which the rear of the French army had Baiaine't 
to march consisted of two plateaux, called by the names of Bomy **'*»*»• 
and St. Barbe, which were separated by ravines which, about three 
miles from Metz, became one and descended in a westerly direction 
to the Moselle. The heights and slopes were covered with many 
villages. Early on August 14th the Germans foimd that the 
French encamped on the plateaux were preparing to march, and 
set off in pursuit of them. The proper course for the French would 
have been to continue their retreat and to allow the Germans to 
come within the range of the guns of the fortress. About 5 in 
the afternoon Bazaine arrived on the scene. He had two plans 
open to him — ^to continue his course or turn on the Germans and 
crush them. He did neither, but stayed where he was and fought 
a feeble battle, called by the French after Bomy, by the Germans 
after Columbey. 

Goltz, who had begun the attack, was held in check before ** The Uhjr 
Colimibey, and awaited assistance. This was given by Zastrow. ^[^, 
Though the Prussians did not gain much groimd, they inflicted 
severe losses on the French, Decaen being killed and Bazaine 
wounded. The struggle was ftuious, a hollow way leading up to 
Coliunbey being disputed step by step with such terrible carnage 
that it has since been called " The Alley of the Dead." On the 
whole, the Prussians did not gain the groimd they wished for, 
but prevented the passage of the French. The loss on the 
French side was 3,500 and on the German 5,000. 

Next day (August 15th) the Moselle was crossed, and by noon 

the right bank was entirely evacuated. The Battle of Bomy had 

delayed the French retreat by twenty-four hours. On the dawn 

of this day the Germans pushed their reconnaissances close up to 

n 193 





Metz. A thick fog enveloped the Valley of the Moselle, but when 
the King came up shortly afterwards, and the mist had risen, clouds 
of dust revealed the march of long columns moving towards the 
west. The retreat of the French seemed to be secure. On this 
day, however, the two armies came into close contact, and an 
artillery duel, b^^un by accident, continued for several hours. 

The Emperor, moving by slow stages, reluctant to leave the 
scene of conflict, slept with his son in a small cottage at 
Gravelotte. A few faithful friends made an offering of flowers. 
He did not know whether to go or stay, or along which road to 
travel. Thus the Imperial nephew spent the birthday of his 
uncle, one of the saddest anniversaries which that much-tried 
family has ever experienced. Bazaine was in a state of similar 
uncertainty. It is said that when he lost the last sight of Metz he 
was seized with dizziness ; he lost his head ; and the imcertainty 
of the commander spread through every department of the 
administration. The night passed quietly, and Napoleon left 
Gravelotte with imposing parade at daybreak. Bazaine came to 
bid him farewell, and the Emperor said to him, " I conflde to you 
the last army of France ; think of the Prince Imperial," and 
recommended him to proceed with all speed to Verdun and 
Chalons. The Emperor abandoned the route by Mars-la-Tour as 
too dangerous, and chose that by ]^tain. He sent away his 
dragoons and was escorted by Chasseurs d'Afrique. From Etain 
the Prince Imperial telegraphed to his mother, " Everything goes 
better and better." 

Bazaine was now left to himself. If he had marched at once 
on August 1 6th he would have caught the Germans at a dis- 
advantage ; but Lebceuf insisted on a delay, which proved fatal. 
At 9.15 on August i6th the French soldiers were making their 
soup, and many of the horses, unsaddled, were being led to drink. 
Suddenly an alarm was raised, and shells fell into the camp. 
Vionville was choked with baggage wagons, and at the first fire 
the drivers fled. Wherever they went they carried dismay and 
confusion, some retreating to Rezonville, some as far as Gravelotte. 
Order was with difiiculty restored and resistance organised. 

The artillery which had caused the panic belonged to the 
Imi'i Attack, advance guard of Prince Frederick Charles, who did not desire 

to bring about a battle there, but hoped to fall in with the rear- 
guard of the French and, if possible, to compel them to halt and 
fight before they reached the Meuse. The sound of the cannonade 
startled Lebceuf at VemeviUe and Bazaine at his headquarters 
at Gravelotte. By this time other parts of the German army 


ne French 



became informed about the movements of the French. Alvens- 
kben learned that their outposts were at Trouville and Vionville, 
and camps of large bodies of troops were visible behind these 
two villages. He thus knew that at least a great portion of the 
French forces had not begun to march to Verdun and, in order 
to detain them, determined to attack them with the third corps 
and the sixth cavalry division. Though he was not aware of the 
strength of the enemy, he was confident in the bravery of bis 
troops and inspired by his previous success. For the purposes of 
defence the French occupied Vionville, Flagny, and a building 
called the White House, to the south of Rezonville. 

It was now about 10.30 a.m. Had Bazaine adopted a strong 
Hne at once, the Germans might have been driven back before Mawow 
they had time to collect and form, and the road to Verdun could ■■«•?•• 
have been secured. But the battle began as a soldiers' battle, 
and so it continued, being fought with great energy and deter- 
mination on both sides, but in separate detachments without 
definite plan. The Prussians, however, were being constantly 
reinforced, and Bazaine's opportunity passed ; indeed, within 
half an hour the most favourable positions were occupied by the 
enemy's cavalry. At last, after an obstinate struggle, Vionville 
and Flagny were carried, and the Prussians began to move towards 
Rezonville. At this moment Frossard went in search of Bazaine, 
who ordered a charge of cavalry, which was performed with 
splendid energy, but produced no effect, as they were checked by 
the Prussian infantry in front of Flagny. At this time Bazaine, 
separated from his staff, was nearly taken prisoner, but he galloped 
away, sword in hand, side by side with a Prussian ofl&cer. At last 
his escort arrived and dispersed the enemy. 

The first attack of the Germans had been successful : of A Dfltpwaie 
Frossard's five brigades three were in retreat, but still all was not ^^H^ 
lost. The grenadiers of the Guard formed a firm defence to 
Rezonville, and stood like a wall roimd the town. Had Bazaine 
di^layed vigour and grasped the situation at this moment, victory 
might yet have been secured. But he began to be afraid of his 
communications with Metz, and was distracted by two conflicting 
impulses — to push forward or hold back. Alvensleben was in 
serious danger. It was now 2 and he had to hold his own 
for an hour or two until help arrived. He had to depend on a 
charge of the Prussian cavaliy, and decided to run the risk. He 
had at his disposal only eight squadrons under Bredow. In order 
to give time for the tenth corps to come up the cavalry were 
entrusted with a duty as desperate as that of the Light Brigade 



Ihittl at 


at Balaklava. This body of magnificent troops rode at Canrobert's 
division and went right through it, checking the movement ;of 
the French before it had well begun, but losing more than half 
their number in the effort. This charge was the timiing-point of 
the battle. Fresh detachments crossing the Moselle enabled 
Alvensleben to hold his own. For some time the struggle on the 
German right and centre remained stationary, as the Prussians 
were imable to make any impression on the grenadiers of the 
Imperial Guard. 

At last, at 4 o'clock, Prince Frederick Charles appeared, having 
ridden from Pont-4-Mousson. He saw that the stress of the 
battle was on the left wing, where French troops had appeared 
under Leboeuf and Ladmirault. After a brisk artillery fire the 
infantry drove the French out of the wood. A cavalry charge 
followed, in which Bismarck's two sons rode as privates. They 
both distinguished themselves ; one was woimded, and the other 
lifted a wounded soldier on to his horse and carried him off the 
field. The day ended with a severe artillery duel. It was now 
past 7, and both sides were exhausted, but the contest continued 
until darkness fell, at the very last moment a violent cannonade, 
the origin of which is imcertain, breaking forth on both sides. The 
French slept on the groimd which they held in Rezonville or on 
the heights to the south of it, and on the ridge on the north, over- 
looking the upper road to Verdim. In the battle the French had 
lost 17,000 men out of 125,000, and the Germans 16,000 out of 
77,000 men. 

During the night the French army was ordered to retire 
towards Metz, to their great surprise, as they imagined that they 
had gained a victory, and on August 17th the approach to the 
Meuse was still open by the northern roads. But Bazaine could 
not bring himself to abandon Metz, and determined to fall back 
upon a strong position west and north-west of the fortress. He 
said that the number of his wounded, the state of the army, and 
the lack of ammunition and suppUes left him no alternative. As 
a competent judge remarks, " That the army should have fallen 
into this condition within sight of a great depot shows how deeply 
the canker of disorganisation had entered into the French miUtary 
system." Bazaine now took up a purely defensive position, with 
his front towards the west. He had not given up the idea of 
retiring to Chalons, as is shown by the fact that he reported to 
the Emperor, on August 17th, that he would move towards Verdun 
by the northern road when the needs of the army had been 
suppUed. If he had begim the march in the morning, or even in 



the night of August 17th, the Germans would not have been able 
to oppose the movement, but only to harass his fiank, whereas 
they were now able to concentrate a superior force and cut off 
his retreat altogether. 

Bazaine's movement was carried out without opposition, and 
by nightfall on August 17th the Army of the Rhine was in the 
position he had determined for them. On the left, imder the 
great fort of Plappeville, lay Frossard with the second corps ; 
Lebceuf , with the third corps, was on the north ; Ladmirault, 
with the fourth corps, was at Amanweiler ; Canrobert, with the 
sixth corps, on the right, at St. Privat ; while Bazaine took up 
his position with the Guard in the glacis of Plappeville. 

It was Moltke's business to prevent the escape of Bazaine Holike'i 
from this position, and this he (Ud with consummate skill. He ?!•"■• 
had, within reach, the whole of the First and Second Armies except- 
ing the fomlh corps, which was engaged in an expedition against 
Toul ; and the second corps, which had not yet arrived from 
Germany, but was proceeding by forced marches to Pont-i- 
Mousson. Moltke knew that the French army was west of the 
Moselle ; he therefore foimd the first corps, with some cavalry, 
sufficient to watch Metz on the east. The tenth and third corps 
were left in their positions at Vionville and Mars-la-Tour ; the 
seventh, eighth, and ninth corps were brought up on their right, 
and the Guard and the twelfth corps were placed to the left of the 
third corps and west of Mars-la-Tour. Thus, at the close of 
August 17th, 140,000 men were in line, parallel to a road which 
led from Metz to Mars-la-Tour. 

In order to reach the position assigned to them on the German Bneeanfol 
right, the seventh and eighth corps had to make a flank march, |Jf«M*» 
in close proximity to the forts of Metz. It was essential to the 
success of the movement that their march should be unobserved, 
and that no indiscreet impetuosity shoidd bring on a prematiure 
engagement. Stringent orders to this effect were issued from 
headquarters and were obeyed so exactly that the French were 
allowed to slip away, not only unchecked, but unobserved. The 
consequence was that at daybreak on August i8th Moltke did 
not know whether Bazaine was continuing his design of retreating 
by the northern roads or had retired definitely to Metz. He had 
to be prepared for either event. He therefore ordered the Second 
Army to move to the north, towards Doncourt, while he, with the 
seventh and eighth corps of the First Army, prevented any inter- 
ference from Metz. If Bazaine were in retreat the same army 
could follow closely till the First Army came up in support, and, if 



he determined to remain at Metz, the Second Army could wheel 
round to the right and surround him on his right flank. 
*• At a quarter to twelve on the morning of August i8th, when 

mdpiU- ^Yie soldiers had just finished their breakfast in Ladmirault's corps, 
patrols arrived annoimcing that the enemy had arrived at Vem6- 
ville. At the same moment the sound of artillery was heard 
coming from the batteries of Mannstein, who commanded the 
ninth corps. The fire, which was unexpected by the French, was 
an equal surprise to Prince Frederick Charles. When he learnt 
from Hessian scouts that a portion of the French troops was 
encamped at St. Privat, he prepared a vigorous attack upon 
the French right. But it was a condition of success that all 
should act together, so that this sudden attack of Mannstein's 
on the French centre caused the greatest alarm. The fire was 
promptly repUed to by French batteries posted on all the heights. 
The advance of the Germans was repulsed and Mannstein's pre- 
cipitate action ended in failure. Indeed, he found himself in a 
most dangerous position and, had he been vigorously attacked, 
little resistance could have been made. But there was no one, 
to lead. Bazaine was in his house at Plappeville, his horse saddled 
outside, his staff grumbling with discontent. He attempted to 
minimise the danger, and as he was not there to give orders 
nothing could be done. 

***»«k by Prince Frederick Charles set out to march in the direction of 

the cannon. At half-past three new vigour was thrown into the 
Prussian attack, and at 5 in the afternoon the French were b^in- 
ning to retreat. Still, as he smveyed the battle from Plappeville 
at this hour, Bazaine might believe that victory had inclined to 
his favour, and that the French had only lost a few advanced 
posts. Canrobert still held his position at St. Privat and 
Doncourt. Although his corps had been driven back at Ste. 
Marie, and he was now engaged in a severe artillery combat, 
Ladmirault was holding his groimd at Amanweiler and Montigny. 
Leboeuf had been compelled to evacuate the Bois de Geniveaux, 
but had been able to maintain his position at the farm of Moscou. 
Frossard, although he had lost St. Hubert, still held his position 
at Pointe-du-Jour and Rozellieures. But the Imperial Guard 
had as yet taken no part in the engagement and only about 
half the German forces had been employed, so that much might 
be done on both wings with fresh troops. 

The battle had now been raging for five hours without inter- 
mission, evening was coming on, and if any decisive effect was 
to be produced the Guards must take part in the engagement. 




Soon after 5 King William, who was commanding in person, 
gave orders to the three brigades of Guards to advance to the 
attack of St. Privat. As they advanced they were received 
with a heavy fire, but continued to press steadily forward ; but 
nearly all the generals, field officers, and adjutants who remained 
on horseback were either dismounted or killed. The loss was 
so great that orders were given to suspend the attack and await 
the arrival of the Saxons. The Saxon troops, who formed part of 
the twelfth corps, reached Doncourt at 6.30, and then the Guards 
were ordered to continue their advance. At 6.45 the Guards 
forced their way into the village from the south and met some of 
the Saxon troops entering from the north at the same moment. 
The houses in the village were stormed one after the other, and 
the Germans were not masters of the place until it was too late to 
continue the conflict. 

This successful attack upon St. Privat made it possible for ititratt tf 
the Hessians and the third brigade of Guards to attack Aman- LfttetrMlt 
weiler, but they were so hotly received by the superior numbers 
of the French that they could gain no advantage. However, St. 
Privat was the key of the position, and when that was captured 
Amanweiler had to be abandoned. Ladmirault, also, fearing to 
be taken in flank, had to break up his positions and retreat to 
Plappeville, sacrificing his laige encampment of huts and many 
other munitions of war. When the news of the defeat of the 
French right wing reached headquarters, Bourbaki, the com- 
mander of the Imperial Guard, ordered his soldiers to march to 
their support, but the general arrived too late to be of any 

On the other side of the field, Fransecky, who commanded TIm IMto 
the second corps, received orders from the King at 5.30 to carry ^ •■•»•- 
the farm of Moscou. To do this it was necessary to pass through 
the terrible defile of Gravelotte, which can never be forgotten by 
anyone who has seen it, as it appears impregnable. The pass is 
only twelve yards wide and is formed by the steep bank of the 
Mance. The road to Metz is here bordered for about 500 yards 
by a wall of precipitous rock, 30 or 40 feet high, and on the other 
side by a ravine in some places 20 feet deep. Along this road 
the infantry had to advance unsupported, until they reached St. 
Hubert. Their progress was watched by Moltke and by the King 
himself, imtil Roon forced him away from his dangerous position. 

The orders given to Fransecky were that his troops were to 
cUmb the steep ascent by the eastern bank of the Mance until they 
arrived at Pointe-du-Jour, which was the highest part of the wood. 



They were then to storm this important position. These orders 
were carried out, the troops proceeding in one continuous close 
column, every file closing up to the next one, and each rank call- 
ing to the other, " Close up well forward, shoulder to shoulder." 
The drummers beat the charge, the bugles soimded the advance, 
and the soldiers answered by a hurrah. When they arrived on 
the plateau they were received by a storm of bullets from mit- 
railleuses and chassepots, while the solid mass of soldiers moving 
forward on the high road were cut to pieces by projectiles. In 
the meantime, the Prussian artillery kept up a continuous fire, 
directed against the French troops on the plateau, over the heads 
of the storming columns. The sun had now gone down, and it 
was found that in some cases the Prussian troops, who had reached 
the heights, were firing, in the confusion, on their advancing 
comrades. Fransecky therefore ordered the bugler to soimd 
" Cease firing," and a general cessation of fire took place for a 
short time on both sides. Soon afterwards the colmnn reached 
St. Hubert, under a murderous rain of projectiles, and eventually 
Pointe-du-Jour was carried. 
at About 10 the French dehvered a terrible assault of mit* 

Gravelotte. railleuses and chassepots upon the Germans, which formed the 
closing scene of the great battle. The King passed the night at 
Rezonville, sleeping on a small camp-bed, without having changed 
his clothes for thirty hours, and having no covering but his military 
cloak. Next day he moved his quarters to Pont-i-Mousson. In 
this battle, called by the French St. Privat, and by the Germans 
Gravelotte, the French lost 609 ofl&cers and 11,700 men, 6,000 
French being taken prisoners. The Germans lost 904 officers 
and 19,058 men. 

iBTeitBieDt Moltke became aware, on August 19th, that the Army of the 
Rhine had fallen back upon the forts surroimding Metz, and was 
holding positions which could not be carried by assault. He had 
originally intended that, while the armies advanced to Paris, 
Metz should be masked — ^that is, prevented from taking part in 
the campaign — ^by a portion of the Landwehr, and the division 
intended for this purpose was already approaching. It now 
became necessary to make fresh arrangements, because Metz, 
instead of its ordinary garrison, contained a large number of 
troops ready, at any moment, to break out and fight the Prussians. 
Therefore an army of investment had to be formed, and this was 
comprised of the whole of the First Army, four corps of the Second 
Army, and a division of the Landwehr. This army, consisting of 
175,000 men, was placed under the command of Prince Frederick 



Charles. Besides this, an Army of the Meuse was created and 
placed imder the Crown Prince of Saxony to assist the Third Army, 
which was 240,000 strong, in advancing on the French capital, 
The Third Army and the fourth corps had reached the Meuse on 
August 19th, and were halted there to enable the rest of the new 
army to come up. 

We must now return to the Emperor. He had left Grave- Mapoleta a 
lotte at daybreak on August i6th, accompanied by the Prince ^»■*«'•'• 
Imperial and Prince Napoleon, the journey becoming more and 
more of a flight. He reached Verdim at i, the inhabitants 
being silent and stupefied. The under-prefect was obliged to 
ask him whether they should cry, " Vive VEmpereur I " He had 
to travel to Chalons in a third-class carriage, and reached the 
town in the evening, imexpected, and found a lodging with 
difficulty. The course of events now depended on the leaders 
assembled in the camp — the Emperor, Prince Napoleon, 
MacMahon and Trochu. A conference was held, and it was 
decided that Trochu should return to Paris with the title of 
Governor of the capital ; that the Emperor should go back to 
the Tuileries ; that the command of the Army of Chalons should 
be given to MacMahon, who was, however, to remain under the 
orders of Bazaine ; and that the camp, which was composed 
chiefly of Gardes mobiles, should be broken up. Trochu was 
detested by the Empress, but was beloved by the populace, and 
it was thought his popularity would cover the unpopularity of 
the Emperor. 

Paris at this time was governed by the Empress as Regent Trochn 
and Palikao as Minister of War. They naturally thought that fj^'** ** 
the safety of France depended upon their preserving their 
authority, and that the return of the Emperor was undesirable. 
Therefore, when the news of the changes made at Chalons arrived 
in the evening, Pahkao telegraphed to beg the Emperor to sur- 
render the idea, which implied the abandonment of the army of 
Metz. Trochu reached Paris at midnight, and went first to 
Chevren, Minister of the Interior, and asked him to sign the 
Emperor's decree. He hesitated and said that the Empress must 
be consulted. A stormy council was held at the Tuileries, in 
which the Empress expressed herself strongly against the return 
of the Emperor. At last Pahkao consented to coimtersign the 
decree, and it was presented to the Ministers. On August i8th 
Palikao announced to the Chambers that he had himself recalled 
Trochu to Paris, as the best man to imdertake the government of 
the city. 




Mapoleon At Chilons during the whole of August 17th nothing seemed 

tttOhiloiii. to be decided. There was no news from Bazaine, nor did the 
Emperor make any movement of departure, but it was evident to 
MacMahon that the camp was indefensible. On the following 
day some mobiles left the camp, and the Emperor annoimced his 
departure to MacMahon and Prince Napoleon, but still he stayed 
on. The Prussian army approached, and at 8.30 MacMahon 
telegraphed to Bazaine, " If the Crown Prince attacks me in force, 
I shall occupy a position between Epemay and Reims, so as to 
be able either to join you or to march to Paris as circumstances 
may demand." 

At 10 a.m. Magnan arrived from Metz. bringing bad news. 
Bazaine said that he would resume his march if possible. During 
the day messages from Bazaine gave successive scraps of informa- 
tion about the catastrophe of Gravelotte. What was MacMahon 
to do ? His own prudence counselled retreat ; but Palikao in 
Paris urged him to join Bazaine at Metz. About midday on 
August 19th tel^raphic commtuiication was finally interrupted, 
and he was left without information except such as could be 
brought by messengers. The Prussian cavalry was scouring the 
country and getting nearer and nearer to the camp. It became 
necessary to act. At daybreak on August 21st the camp of Chilons, 
which had witnessed so many of the glories of the Empire, was 
broken up under a leaden sky and heavy rain, and the army 
reached Reims, the Emperor fixing his headquarters at the 
Chateau de Courcelles, two miles from Reims, where he was joined 
by Rouher. Rouher represented the views held in Paris. He 
was strongly in favour of a march to Metz and a junction with 
Bazaine. If this were effected, the united armies could pursue 
the Crown Prince on the road to Paris. MacMahon, with better 
mihtary knowledge, recognised that Bazaine was invested, and 
strongly urged return to Paris. The Emperor remained silent. 
It was settled that MacMahon should take command not 
only of the army, but of all the towns which defended Paris. 
This would be a set-off against the authority of Trochu, and 
Rouher carried off in his pocket the decrees necessary for this 

News at last came from Bazaine. On August 19th he had 
entrusted a letter to a gamekeeper, who hid it in the sole of his 
boot. It reached Reims early on August 22nd. It announced 
the defeat of St. Privat, and that Bazaine's plan was to retire 
to Chalons by St. Menehould and Montm^dy if the road were free, 
and, if this were impossible, to reach it by way of Sedan and 




M^zi^es. Another letter arrived later, expressing a doubt whether 
he should be able to march at all. A third letter from Bazaine, 
dated August 20th, never arrived, and, left to his own devices, 
MacMahon on August 23rd withdrew his army towards the north- 

The first care of the Ministry of August loth was to increase Th« 0«ii«na 
the strength of the army. The contingent of 1870 was imme- ^^^ *• 
diately summoned to the colours. All citizens from twenty-five **"■• 
to thirty years of age, unmarried, or widowers without children, 
not forming part of the Garde mobile, were called out, and some 
other persons who belonged to the classes of 1865 and 1866, who 
had escaped service, were incorporated. The admission of volun- 
teers was arranged for, and a National Guard was established in 
the Departments which should include all men under forty. But 
all these troops had to be exercised and trained. 

Labour was abundantly spent in repairing and arming the BaiaiM the 
fortifications of Paris erected under Louis Philippe. For this JJj***' 
purpose a niunber of sailors were sunmioned, as well as the marine 
artillery, the gamekeepers, and the Custom-house officers. It was 
also necessary to accumulate provisions and money. The pictures 
of the Louvre, the Crown diamonds, the bullion in the Bank, and 
the captured flags of the Invalides were sent for security to Brest. 
The interior government of the country gave a great deal of 
trouble, anarchy began to raise its head, and there were disorders 
and murders in the streets, while in the Chambers the deposition 
of the Emperor was discussed. It is impossible to describe the 
anxiety of this month of August, and the only hope of the people 
seemed to lie in Bazaine. All generals but he were denounced as 
traitors ; all foreigners were beheved to be spies. The condition 
of the provinces was as bad as that of Paris, 

An effort was also made to secure aUies. We have related Migoilatloai 
some of the negotiations b^;un with Austria and Italy. These '•' " ^J^' 
were continued at Metz at the beginning of August. But Austria 
could not undertake any decisive action before the beginning of 
September, and Italy would do nothing unless the evacuation of 
Rome by the French were conceded. The Emperor positively 
refused to abandon the Pope, and it is doubtful whether his doing 
so would have secured the alliance of Italy. Vimercati at Metz 
and Vitzthum at Florence found themselves equally impotent. 
Russia gave France to understand that any violation of neutrality 
by Austria would bring her also on the scene of action. 

But the events of August 6th brought all these negotiations 
to an end. Worth opened the doors of Alsace, Forbach of 



ABd Italy. 



Lorraine. Immediately after these defeats Austria took pains to 
declare that she was free from all engagements, and Vitzthum 
was delighted to feel that he had escaped a serious danger. On 
August 7th Gramont asked Italy to send 60,000 men to the assist- 
ance of France, but the proposition was instantly declined. Great 
Britain, with Lord Granville at the Foreign Office, refused to 
commit herself. The cfUente cordiale, the aUiance of the Crimea, 
was already forgotten. There can be Httle doubt but that the 
sympathies both of the Court and the people of Great Britain were 
really with the Germans. A Neutral League was formed, the 
object of which was to confine the extent of the war, but mainly 
to protect Italy from pressure by France, and membership of 
which would be a sufficient groimd for maintaining inactivity. 
The aUiance did not take the form of a treaty, but merely of an 
exchange of ideas and of agreement in a common action. The 
Neutral League completed the isolation of France. 

It was indeed difficult for Napoleon to beUeve that his old 
friend Victor Emmanuel would leave him entirely in the lurch. 
Therefore, on August 19th, he sent Prince Napoleon to Florence 
to see the Prince's father-in-law, to induce him to declare war 
against Prussia, and, if possible, to carry Austria with him. When 
he arrived at Florence he found that he could do nothing and 
that he was received with more pity than respect. On August 
27th Cadoma, the Italian Ambassador in London, asked Lord 
Granville if he did not think that the time had come to put an end 
to the horrors of war, but he was told that the time had not yet 
come and that any effort would do more harm than good. Prince 
Napoleon remained, amusing himself with his ItaUan relations, 
until the catastrophe which destroyed both the dynasty and 
France. We have said nothing about Russia. She determined 
to remain neutral so long as Austria pursued a similar policy, but 
if Austria had joined France Russia would undoubtedly have 
made war upon Austria. Her private ties were far closer with 
Austria than with Prussia, but she desired the liberation of 
the Black Sea and the abrogation of the Treaty of Paris as 
keenly as the Italians desired the Uberation of Rome. 

The army which left Reims on August 23rd to march in 
a north-easterly direction numbered about 120,000 men. The 
object was to reach Bazaine, and the route to be followed had been 
traced with great care and precision by Palikao. Leaving Chalons 
on August 2ist, the army could reach the Meuse in four or 
five marches and concentrate in the neighbourhood of Verdun. 
MacMahon would have against him the Third Army, under the 



Crown Prince of Saxony. If he followed this route he would 
avoid the Third Army and could easily beat the Fourth Army, which 
did not consist of more than 70,000 men. He would then march 
to Metz, join with Bazaine, and return with him to crush the Third 
Army. This plan was not at aU impossible, and with good fortune 
and a good leader might have been carried out with success. But, 
unfortimately, MacMahon had lost two days by going to Reims, 
and he determined not to march straight to Verdun, but to bend 
a little to the north in the direction of MontmMy, hoping thus to 
avoid the enemy altogether. 

When MacMahon arrived at the river at the end of the first MaelUliaii't 
day he was informed that there were no more provisions, although Wffloultlei. 
the troops had been ordered to carry supplies for four days. What 
was to be done ? He determined to move towards Rethel in order 
to get provisions. But the conunissariat was badly organised, 
and the soldiers took to marauding and discipline became slack. 
At last they reached the Aisne and the Argonne, and in the neigh- 
bourhood of Grand Pr6 they suddenly came into contact with the 
German scouts. Moltke was contemplating a march on Paris, 
which he hoped to reach in about a week's time, when information 
reached him from different quarters, notably by telegraph from 
London, through the French Press, that MacMahon had changed 
his plans and intended, if possible, to join Bazaine. 

From this, on August 25th and 26th, he had to alter all his Moltke's 
calculations, as his previous arrangements had been made on the Maiterly 
supposition of a march upon Paris. The fourth German army, ^^* 
now called the Army of the Meuse, had reached the valley of 
that river and was occupying the road between Clermont and St. 
Menehould, in the immediate neighbourhood of the historic town 
of Varennes ; but it was not, of itself, strong enough to oppose 
MacMahon, if he should operate in the direction of Metz. The 
Third Army had established commimications with the Fourth, 
and the two armies together formed a line forty-six miles long, 
broken by a right angle. In order to crush the French army it 
was necessary that, while the Fourth Army detained the French 
and obstructed their progress, the Third should make a long bend 
to the east to envelop them and deal a crushing blow. These 
complicated operations were carried out with such precision that 
in no single case did any crossing of soldiers occur. This rapid 
wheel to the right of an army of more than 200,000 men, and its 
concentration at the point originally determined, is probably one 
of the most masterly exploits ever executed in any war. There 
was great difficulty in procuring subsistence upon a new line of 



advance, but this was met by the zeal and resource of the 

Falikao'i On August 27th MacMahon fixed his headquarters at Chesne, 

"^' in the Argonne. He was informed there that the Fourth Army 

was marching up the Meuse, and that the Third had ahready 
changed its course, was proceeding north, and was by this time 
approaching the Aisne. He now saw the terrible nature of the 
danger to which he was exposed. He could not bear to abandon 
Bazaine, but he felt that he might be cut off both from Metz and 
from Paris. After consulting the Emperor, he sent a message 
to Bazaine at 3.25 p.m., sa3dng that he had learnt that the Crown 
Prince of Prussia was approaching, and that he was obliged to 
retreat on M^zi&res, unless he heard that Bazaine had already 
b^un his retreat. At 8.30 he dispatched a similar message to 
Palikao. U MacMahon had really reached M€zitres he would 
have been in easy communication with Paris, but he was not his 
own master. When Palikao received MacMahon's dispatch he 
sent a furious telegram, not to the general, but to the Emperor, 
at II : '' If you abandon Bazaine the Revolution wiU be in Paris, 
and you will be yourself attacked by all the forces of the enemy. 
Paris can protect herself against an attack from outside. The 
fortifications are finished ; it seems to me urgent that you 
should rapidly reach Bazaine." The dispatch concluded by 
saying that it was quite impossible that the Crown Prince could be 
where MacMahon beheved him to be. This dispatch reached 
MacMahon at i in the morning, and, in spite of the remonstrance 
of the army, he determined to obey it. The retreat towards 
M6zi6res had already begun, the weather was terrible, the country 
extremely difficult, and everything was thrown into confusion by 
the change of plan. 

Holike On August 28th MacMahon had his headquarters at Stone. 

Ma^lfli" ^ ^^^ ^^ learned in the afternoon that the Germans had occupied 

Stenay. This was very grave, because it closed the route to 
Metz by Montm6dy, the alternative route by Verdun having been 
closed long ago. At the same time he received another dispatch 
from Palikao, ordering him to relieve Bazaine. Below Stenay 
there was a bridge thrown across the Meuse at Mouzon, and a 
wooden bridge lower down at Remilly. MacMahon intended to 
cross the Meuse by these bridges, to reach Carignan, and then 
march up the Chiers to Montm6dy. This plan was imwise, 
because it delayed the march of the army and brought it too near 
the Belgian frontier, which it was contrary to international law 
to cross. Orders had been given to carry out these movements, 



but they went wrong, and August 29th was a day of disaster. 
On the other hand, it was favourable to Moltke, who had his 
headquarters at Grand Pr^. All his calculations turned out as 
he would wish. The Army of the Meuse was almost concentrated, 
and the army of the Crown Prince was only a march behind. He 
had penetrated the design of MacMahon and determined to 
prevent it. He therefore gave orders for an attack on Beaumont, 
a small town lying two miles from the Meuse, and about six miles 
from Mouzon. 

On the morning of August 29th the fifth corps reached the Battle «f 
place in small detachments, weary and harassed, wishing for 
nothing but repose, and many of the troops did not arrive till 
night. MacMahon reached Beaumont at 7 a.m. He had no 
idea of immediate danger, and the troops, resting after their 
labour, were engaged in foraging. The town was surrounded by 
woods and there were many farms on the slopes. The troops 
were principally encamped on the south of the town, at dangerous 
positions, but were so tired when they arrived that they were 
allowed to rest in the first places they reached. Failly, who 
commanded, fancied himself in perfect security, and had no 
apprehension of attack. Suddenly, just after the church clock 
had struck mid-day, a cannonade b^an. The panic was 
indescribable, but the chivalrous French spirit asserted itself, 
and the best preparations were made for defence which circum- 
stances allowed. But no resistance was possible, and everything 
fell into the hands of the Prussians — stents, baggage, even the 
wounded — and prisoners were made in crowds. The fifth corps 
was entirely defeated. The first corps had just crossed the Meuse 
at RemiUy and were pursuing their road to Carignan, when they 
heard the cannon of Beaumont. They could not retreat, how- 
ever, because the Emperor was with them, and they could not 
desert him. The seventh corps was at Stone when they heard 
the sound of the battle, about six miles from Beaumont, but 
they dared not disobey orders, and had to continue their march. 
It is not necessary to pursue the dolorous story. The day of 
Beaumont was fatal. Eighteen hundred men were killed and 
woimded and 3,000 taken prisoners. 

After the battle the Emperor might have escaped to M^zi^es 
and secured his personal safety, but he refused to leave the army. ti«i 
He reached Carignan at 4.30 p.m. on August 30th, and sent a 
reassiuing dispatch to the Empress ; but MacMahon was aware 
that the Army of Chalons had been overtaken by the forces of 
the enemy in far greater nimibers than his own. The march to 




Montm^dy had become impossible, and all idea of relieving Bazaine 
at Metz was at an end. The choice remained between fighting a 
battle at Mouzon and retreating westwards without fighting, to 
prevent the army, if possible, from being smrounded. The 
Marshal therefore concentrated his forces at Sedan, which could 
only be effected by a night march. Every preparation had been 
made for the Emperor's passing the night at Carignan, but at ii 
he left unexpectedly by railway for Sedan, which is about twelve 
miles off ; the troops, marching through the night, reached their 
encampments at Sedan on the morning of August 31st, some 
arriving as late as 9. 

We must now consider the position of Bazaine in Metz, which 
MacMahon and Palikao were so anxious to relieve. The Prussian 
army of the siege, gradually strengthened by the arrival of 
reservists and other soldiers, contained now more than 150,000 
combatants. It invested the city on both sides of the Moselle 
and was stationed in trenches, batteries, and parallels, often 
double or three-fold in depth, the artisans within the lines being 
utiUsed for the investment. The outposts were pushed forward 
as far as the fire of the forts permitted ; indeed, they were gener- 
ally within reach of the heavy ordnance, only the reserve being 
entirely out of range. The whole length of the line of invest- 
ment was about thirty miles. Observatories were erected on all 
lofty points, and connected by telegraph with each other and with 
the different headquarters, so that any weakness in the blockade 
could be immediately repaired. The fortress was well suppUed 
with ammimition, but not so well with provisions, as the city 
contained, besides the army of Bazaine, the inhabitants of the 
city and those of a great part of the surroimding coimtry. 

Considering these difficulties, it is creditable to Bazaine that he 
Final Bffort was able to make a sortie on August 26th when MacMahon's army 

was marching from Reims to Rethel. His object was to get 
possession of Thionville and force his way to Chalons by the passes 
of the north, but after a few attempts he became convinced that 
the Prussians were stronger than himself, and he determined to 
postpone any other efforts until the groimd should have recovered 
from the effects of heavy rains. However, on August 31st he 
made a powerful sortie with the object of driving the Prussians 
back or, at least, replenishing his commissariat. He advanced by 
the right bank of the Moselle, and succeeded in getting as far as 
Columbey, but he was defeated by Manteuffel. The French army 
was driven back to Metz on September ist, and its surrender was 
merely a matter of time, as provisions were becoming scarcer, 




and after the last sortie the besi^ed b^an to slaughter their 

Sedan was one of the worst places which could have been The Bt« ef 
chosen as a refuge for a defeated army. It was surrounded on 8«dmiu 
the south, north, east, and west by a series of hills which 
•dominated the river, the city, and fortress. To the east stretched 
thj last spurs of the Argonne from Remilly to Donchery, which 
offered a favourable spot for placing artillery, and there were 
similar heights on the north-east. To the north the hills were of 
a different description, as they were separated from each other 
by deep ravines. Important points on this side were the plateaux 
of Illy, on the summit of which was a Calvary, the peninsula of 
Iges surrounded by the Meuse, and the heights of the Ardennes, 
which marked the Belgian frontier. If the enemy occupied these 
heights he would be master of Sedan, of the army, indeed, of 
ever5^hing, and would be able to cut off the French retreat. 
MacMahon's only hope lay in seizing these eminences, destroying 
the bridges across the Meuse at Bazeilles and Donchery, marchr 
ing along the defile between the Meuse and the frontier, and 
so reaching M6zi^es and Paris. This was the last chance of 
safety, but the Germans were using these remaining hours of 
grace in a manner to make it impossible for the French to 
profit by it. 

King WiUiam arrived at Buzancy on August 30th, and in the Wlmpffea 
evening was informed of the victory of Beaumont. Orders were *"*»•■ 
immediately given to the two Crown Princes to close all avenues " *'^ 
of retreat for the French, the Saxons those on the east, the 
Prussians those on the south and west. Bismarck reminded 
King Leopold of his duty to disarm any Frenchman who crossed 
the frontier. Sedan being too small to contain the retreating 
army, the fifth corps took up a perilous position at Vieux Camp, 
the seventh corps on the slopes of Algerie, and the twelfth corps 
at Bazeilles. Ducrot was still on the march. At 9 a.m. Wimpffen 
suddenly arrived from Paris, having travelled thither from Algiers. 
He had with him an order to supersede Failly in the command of 
the fifth corps. MacMahon was much distressed at this, and 
considered that Failly had been badly treated. Wimpffen also 
had with him a letter, of which he said nothing, which gave him 
the command of the whole army in case MacMahon should be 
disabled. At 9.30 the Marshal ascended to the summit of the 
citadel ; the view to the north and to the north-east was cut off, 
but in other directions he saw quite enough to convince him that 
he had no time to lose if he intended to reach Mdzi^es. He 


TlM FP«l€ll 


TlM Battle- 

ordered the bridge at Donchery to be destroyed, but this was not 

About 10 o'clock on the morning of August 31st news was 
brought to the Emperor that the enemy were close to Donchery 
and advancing to M^i^es, but the Emperor still beUeved that 
a retreat to the west was possible, nor was MacMahon less 
obstinate in his conviction that there was no pressing danger. 
The officer who brought the news found, on his return, that the 
road by which the Emperor wished to withdraw his army was 
so encumbered by fugitives as to be useless. Early in the morning 
the Bavarians were approaching Bazeilles, and had prevented 
the destruction of the bridge. Other misfortunes occurred. 
MacMahon had expected to find four days' provisions in Sedan. 
They were indeed there, but the greater part was in railway 
wagons. At the first sound of the firing the station-master had 
lost his head and sent them all off to Mdzidres. This increased 
the uigency of departure. The Marshal hoped that the Meuse 
would protect him, but the bridges still existed, which allowed the 
advance of the enemy. The bridge of Douzy over the Chiers was 
left standing, like the bridge of Bazeilles. As soon as the sappers, 
sent to destroy the bridge at Donchery, got out of the carriages, 
the train steamed off to M6ziixes with their powder and tools, so 
that nothing could be done. As the day advanced, the net 
gradually closed round the devoted army. At 5.30 a kind of 
council was held, when it was found that, although MacMahon 
was determined to get away, he did not know by what route he 
should effect his object. When night fell the French army 
remained in the position in which they happened to find them- 
selves, the fires of the Belgian troops marking the line of the 
frontier. Moltke had only one anxiety — ^that his prey might 
escape him in the night. If the morning found the French still 
where they were his triimiph was assured. 

On September ist, 1870, the French army at Sedan was 
confined within a space of fotu: miles and a half from north to 
south and two miles from east to west. Sedan lies on the right 
bank of the Meuse with the suburb of Torcy on the left bank, 
defended by a tiie-du^ont. The village of Bazeilles is on the 
right bank, and so is Balan, a suburb of Sedan, above the town. 
On the east are the villages of Givonne, Daigny and Moncelles, 
and on the north-west those of Illy and Floing. The groimd 
between Sedan and Bazeilles, on the right bank, is low, whereas 
on the opposite side the high ground comes down to the bank 
of the river between Remilly and Wadelincourt. The wood of 



Garenne, which played an important part in the battle, lies to 
the north of the town. Sedan is seven miles distant from the 
Belgian frontier. 

The right wing of the French held Balan and Bazeilles and was FmIHohi at 
opposed to the Bavarians ; then came the first French corps at 
Givonne and Daigny, opposed by the Prussian Guard and the 
Saxons of the twelfth corps. The positions of Illy and Floing 
to the north of Sedan were defended by the seventh French corps 
and two cavalry divisions and were attacked by the eleventh and 
fifth corps, together with some cavalry. The fifth French corps 
was posted just outside Sedan to act as a reserve. But the three 
main posts of the French position — ^Bazeilles to the south-east, 
the v^ey of the Givonne, and the positions of Floing and Illy 
— ^were all exposed to the attack of the German troops, marshalled 
for the purpose by the consummate skill of Moltke. 

The battle b^an before daylight, at 4 in the morning of 
September ist, by the Bavarians under Von der Tann advancing 
to attack Bazeilles. The village was most obstinately defended 
in the streets, houses and gardens, both by the soldiers and the 
inhabitants, and was only captured after a severe struggle. At 
5 Lebrun sent word to MacHahon that he was severely attacked 
and that a great battle vras imminent. MacMahon rode out to 
see for himself, and as he was reconnoitring from a point of 
vantage, with a field-glass in his hand, the splinters of a shell 
wounded him in the thigh. He fell from his horse and became 
insensible. The wound was not dangerous, but it entirely 
incapacitated him for performing the duties of conmiand, and 
he was carried back into Sedan. This happened at 6.15. The 
tidings were brought to the Emperor as he was dressing, and his 
eyes filled with tears. He mounted his horse and rode along the 
Daigny road to Bazeilles. 

When MacMahon found that he was wounded, he nominated Wio^ffMi 
Ducrot as his successor, a man of great energy and fine and ]P^— 
decisive character. He saw that the one chance of safety lay in 
reaching Mdzidres, where he would find the corps of Vinoy and 
a good supply of provisions, and be in communication with^the 
northern fortresses. He had desired to begin the march on the 
day before, but as soon as he heard that he was in command he 
said there was not a moment to lose and that the plans already 
formed must be carried out. The army did not like the notion 
of a retreat, but Ducrot was perfectly right. He explained that 
the attack was merely a feint, and that the real struggle was to 
come in the opposite direction. It is stiU disputed among militaiy 





The King 
at Sedan. 

experts whether a retreat would have been honourable, and 
there is no doubt but that it would have been very difficult. At 
this moment Ducrot received a letter from Wimpffen informing 
him that he (Wimpffen) had been appointed to the command by 
the Minister of War at Paris, and that he was strongly opposed to 
a retreat. A heated personal interview ensued. Ducrot, who 
knew the Prussians and the ground, insisted that they were 
being surrounded. Wimpffen, who knew neither, maintained that 
Lebrun must be supported at all hazards in his contest against 
the Bavarians. Ducrot, obejning the orders of Palikao, rode away» 
declaring that all was lost. 

Wimpffen was brave and energetic, but penetrated by the 
ideas of Palikao. He stiU believed that the proper course was to 
press on to Carignan and thence to Montm^dy, in the hope of join- 
ing Bazaine, and regarded the defeat of the Bavarians at Bazeilles 
as the first step in the operation. He said to the Emperor, whom 
he met in the valley of the Givonne, " Don't be distressed, your 
Majesty ; in two hours I shall have thrown the enemy into the 
Meuse." As he rode away, he heard a voice behind him, " Pray 
God that we are not thrown into the river ourselves." His idea of 
retreating to Carignan was purely chimerical, when the Saxons 
had, after superhuman efforts, obtained possession of the ridge 
of Villers and Cemay and the valley of the Daigny and Givonne, 
and had joined the Bavarians, who had become masters of 
Bazeilles ; and, when these two victorious arms had imited to 
drive the French out of Balan, the issue of the battle could be no 
longer doubtful. 

Just as Wimpffen was making efforts to throw the Prussians 
into the Meuse, Von der Tann was reinforced by the arrival of the 
fourth Prussian corps, while the Saxons held Moncelle and the 
valley of the Givonne. The struggle in Bazeilles became more 
and more severe. At this time occurred the incident known as 
" la derniire cartouche,*' in which an isolated house was held 
by fifty men and three officers against masses of the enemy. 
Tbey fought until only a single cartridge was left, and when 
that was fired the few survivors siurendered. Bazeilles was 
captured at mid-day. 

During the battle the Crown Prince took his stand a httle to 
the south of the village of Donchery, and the King of Prussia 
established himself at a point a little farther to the east, from 
which the whole field was visible. This stationary position of the 
two commanders was of great advantage, both for receiving reports 
and sending orders. After the capture of Bazeilles, the French 



artillery had been compelled to retire to a new position at Balan, 
and aU possibility of their being able to break through on this 
side was at an end. 

At this moment the Emperor rode back to Sedan, passing The 
through Balan. He found that he was n^lected on the battle- ■»?«•'*• 
field, and that his physical powers were exhausted. He had to JJ^J!^ 
force his way through crowds of running troops, who were seeking 
refuge in the fortress, while shells vrere falling in the streets. As 
he rode into the town, one of the projectiles exploded in front of 
him and killed his horse. 

Meanwhile the battle began to rage in the direction of the 
north-west. The Prussian troops approached by the difficult road 
which Ducrot would have followed had he been able to carry out 
his plan of retreating to Mdzidres. The French divisions holding 
Floing and Illy were exposed to an awfxil fire of artillery, and by 
noon all hope of escape was closed. lUy was then taken by the 
advance of the Prussian Guards, the iron ring closed more pitilessly 
round the fortress, and the end was at hand. 

What was the condition of things in Sedan ? AU night no one Mapoleon's 
had slept for terror. At dawn of September ist men began to ^^••P**'* 
creep away to Bouillon. As the sim mounted, the roar of guns 
spread from south to north, from north to east, and then all round, 
and the streets swarmed with wounded soldiers. About noon, 
accompanied by his staff of aides-de-camp, the Emperor rode in, 
a death's head at this feast of horrors. It was said that for four 
hours he sought death ; certainly he had done nothing to avoid 
it. He would have set out again, but it was impossible to leave 
the town. He knew that aU was over, that further resistance 
was useless, and hoisted the white flag on the summit of the citadel, 
but no one heeded it and it was pulled down. 

Wimpffen, persisting in his delusions, bagged the Emperor 
to place himself at the head of his troops and cut a passage out of 
Sedan. Napoleon, better informed, refused. Wimpffen. attempt- 
ing the mad enterprise himself, forced his way with a body of men 
through the Bavarians, but behind the Bavarians he found the 
solid Saxons and then realised that the battle had been lost and 

Ducrot sought his master at the palace, as all headquarters 
of the Emperor were called during the time of war. 

" How I wish I had listened to you 1 " said the Sovereign ; 
" the retreat by M^zi^res was our only chance of safety." Silence 
followed, broken by the roar of cannon. 

'' How can we stop this firing ? " continued the master. " I 

a 13 



1 Gwrfout 


have hoisted the white flag ; I wish for an interview with the 
King of Prussia. I think I might obtain favourable terms/' 

Ducrot shook his head, remarking that he had not much 
confidence in the generosity of the enemy. He suggested a 
sortie in the night, but the Emperor said, '' All our chances 
are lost." 

The storm of cannon-balls became heavier and heavier, and a 
shell exploded in the courtyard. 

The Emperor dictated to Ducrot these words, " The white 
flag having been hoisted and n^otiations opened with the enemy, 
firing must cease all along the line." 

But who was to sign it ? Ducrot refused, on the ground that 
Wimpffen was Commander-in-Chief. But where was WimpfFen ? 
Eventually Ducrot carried off the order, looking for someone to 
sign it. 

Lebrun arrived and a similar conversation took place. He 
said, '" If you wish the firing to cease, you must send a message 
to the enemy by a bugler and a white flag. The message 
must carry a request for an armistice, signed by the general 

The paper was drawn up and Lebrun, like Ducrot, looked 
for someone to sign it. Both were unsuccessful. Faure refused 
the request of Ducrot, and Wimpffen that of Lebrun. 

Napoleon was in despair. Neither Ducrot nor Lebrun returned ; 
Wimpffen had disappeared from view, and general after general 
was killed. At last some Prussians came, summoning the fortress 
to smrender. Then Napoleon wrote with a firm hand : 

" Sire, my Brother, — 

" Not having been able to die in the midst of my 
troops, there is nothing left me but to render my sword into 
the hands of Your Majesty. 

" I am, Yom: Majesty's good brother, 

" Napoleok." 

Reille took this letter to the King, who did not know that 
his " good brother " was in Sedan, and who answered : 

" My Brother, — 

" While regretting the circumstances in which we meet, 
I accept Your Majesty's sword, and request that you will 
appoint one of your officers, and furnish him with the neces- 
sary powers to treat for the capitulation of the army which 



has fought so valiantly under your command. I, for my part, 
have appointed General Moltke to this duty. 

" Your loving brother, 

'* WiLHELM." 

Whom should the Emperor appoint to represent him ? With M«ltlw*s 
great diflftculty Wimpffen was persuaded to accept the duty, and *"■■• 
he left for Donchery. The discussion about terms of surrender 
lasted two hours. 

Moltke said, " The whole army must be prisoners, with arms 
and baggage ; the officers will be allowed to retain their swords, 
but they will be prisoners like the rest." 

Wimpffen tried to obtain easier terms, but Bismarck replied 
that France had declared war, and that the whole army must be 
transported to Germany ; then he added that, as a condition 
of peace, Germany would demand the cession of Alsace and 
Lorraine, and an indemnity of 4,000,000,000 francs. 

To a suggestion of further resistance Moltke replied, " You 
have no provisions and no munitions of war ; your army is 
decimated. You may verify our position : we can destroy you 
in two hours." 

In fact, Sedan was menaced by 500 cannon. 

Wimpffen, however, threatened to reneyf the struggle. 

" As you please," said Moltke ; " the armistice will end 
at 4 o'clock to-morrow afternoon; at that hour I will re- 
open fire." 

At 6 next morning, September 2nd, Napoleon set out to visit Mapolam't 
King William. Bismarck met him just before he reached fj^JJ?^ ** 
Donchery, and they went into a weaver's cottage by the roadside, ^j^^ 
Napoleon asked for easier conditions, and Bismarck referred him 
to Moltke, who asked whether he were prepared to negotiate; 
but the Emperor answered that he was prisoner of war and could 
do nothing. He begged to see the King, and this was allowed, 
after the capitulation had been signed. The interview took place 
at the Ch&teau Bellevue, close to Fr^nois, and lasted twenty 
minutes. Nothing was settled, except that Napoleon was to go 
to Wilhelmshohe, the former palace of his imcle, Jerome, King of 

The Emperor left on the following day, September 3rd, for 
Wilhelmshohe. He slept the first night at BouiDon, in a little 
inn, and as he drove to the door tears coursed down his cheeks. 
The French army, now prisoners, were shut up in the Peninsula 
of Iges, surroimded on three sides by the Meuse, on the fourth by 



a canal ; 21,000 prisonexs had been made during the battle ; to 
these were now added 83,000. Their condition was very miser- 
able ; they were without shelter, straw, and huts, and had only 
scanty provisions. On September 6th they b^an to leave for 
Germany, 2,000 men at a time. A few, but only a few, succeeded 
in escaping. 



THi War with thi Ripublig 

The earliest news of the defeat of Sedan reached Paris on the mar Stdaa. 
afternoon of the fatal day. Next day, September 2nd, a 
telegram arrived : " Great disasters ; MacMahon killed ; the 
Emperor prisoner ; where the Prince Imperial is, unknown." On 
September 3rd the extent of the catastrophe was revealed. The 
Emperor telegraphed to the Empress, " The army is defeated 
and captured. I am myself a prisoner." 

On September 4th the momentous decision had to be made 
whether the Empire should continue or not. Perhaps, could 
Palikao have seized the occasion, the Regency might have been 
preserved, but the opportunity was lost. The Chambers met 
towards the previous midnight, and the news of disaster was 
confirmed. Thereupon Jules Favre proposed that Louis Napoleon 
Bonaparte and his dynasty should be considered as deposed, that 
a provisional government should be formed, and that Trochu 
should be continued as Govemor-Creneral of Paris — a proposal 
less astonishing in itself than the torpor with which it was received. 
The Ministers met in council at the Tviileries at 8 on the morning 
of the 4th. There was great difference of opinion. One remarked 
that the Emperor alone could abdicate, that the Empress could 
not, since her power was derived from him alone. The Empress 
was strongly opposed to anything which might cause civil war; 
if she had to disappear, she said she would rather do so peace- 
fully. It was proposed to commit to the Chamber the election of 
a Council of Regency. The dispatches which reached the Empress 
during the day annoimced the increase of popular excitement in 
Paris and the fact that the Republic had been proclaimed at 

About 10 o'clock bodies of workmen gathered in the centre RtTolnttos 
of Paris. In the Place Venddme there was a cry of " DicMance I O^t 
DeclUance ! " National Guards also appeared in the Rue Royale 
and the Rue de Rivoli, for the most part without arms. It is 
probable that these movements were organised by the advanced 
Liberals, such as Delescluze and Blanqui. It is well known that, 
in the Revolution of 1789, few popular movements of any kind, 




such as the march to Versailles and the Massacres of September, 
took place without being organised and paid for. Palikao said 
that he was sufficiently strong to put down any hostile agitation, 
and could dispose of 40,000 men, but this number was greatly 
exaggerated. Indeed, the only man on whom he could depend 
was Trochu, who was by no means popular at Court, being especi- 
ally disliked by the Empress. He was a friend of the Opposition, 
however, and much beloved of the people. It is believed that, 
at this time, he might have saved the dynasty had not Palikao 
offended him by attempting to entrust the defence of Paris to 
his subordinate. Nor had Trochu the magnanimity to offer his 
services unreservedly to the Sovereign, so that on September 4th, 
although he did nothing to stir the hneute, he allowed it to 
proceed unchecked. 

When the Chambers met on September 4th there were three 
proposals before them — ^those of the Government, of Jules Favre, 
and of Thiers. Palikao, in the name of the Government, pro- 
posed to establish a Council of Government and National Defence. 
The Council was to be composed of five members to be elected by 
an absolute majority of the l^islative body, while the Council 
was to nominate lifinisters, with Palikao as Lieutenant-General. 
A grave defect in the motion was that it made no mention of the 

Jules Favre simply proposed dicMance — ^that is, deposition of 
the Napoleon dynasty, as he had done a few hours before. Thiers 
advocated the creation of a Committee of Government and 
National Defence. The question of dkhianu was left open. The 
majority was in favour of Thiers' proposition, but before the 
vote could be taken the Chamber was attacked by the mob. 
There is no need to describe the scene, which followed the course 
of all Paris revolutions. The Empress, like Louis XVI. and Louis 
Philippe, was opposed to the shedding of blood, and the troops 
and police retired, leaving the mob masters of the situation. A 
cry arose that the members should quit the Palais Bourbon and 
proceed to the H6tel de Ville, and thither accordingly they went, 
Jules Favre, a man of lofty stature and unblemished character, 
leading the way. 

Trochu, the most popular man in Paris, was sent for, and came 
OoYenmwiii. with some hesitation. He refused to act without consulting 

Palikao, his superior officer, whom he found completely crushed, 
seated with his face in his hands, having just heard of the death 
of his son at Sedan. After Ustening to Trochu's statement, he said, 
" If you do not take the direction of affairs, everything will be 




lost ; if you do, everj^thing will be equally lost, but at least the 
army will follow you." Trochu took this as consent on Palikao's 
part, and returned to the Hdtel de Ville. A new Government 
was formed, of which he was the head. Jules Favre was Minister 
of Foreign Affairs, Le F16 of War, Fourichon of the Navy, 
Cr6mieux of Justice, Gambetta of the Interior, Picard of Finance. 
It assumed the title of " The Government of the National Defence." 

While this was going on, the Empress remained at the TheSmprtn 
Tuileries, surroimded by about twenty faithful servants. She DeierML 
heard the cries of the mob in the Rue de Rivoli, and saw, in the 
distance, the surging crowds in the Place de la Concorde. About 
2 p.m. two of the Ministers arrived in the Tuileries, together with 
Mettemich and Nigra, the Ambassadors of Austria and Italy. 
They had heard on the way the tumultuous shouts of ** Dickie 
ance ! " and " Vive la Ripublique ! " and advised the Empress to 
seek safety in flight. When she heard what had passed in the 
Chamber, she was indignant at the desertion of Deputies who 
owed everything to her. She then asked a friend if the Tuileries 
could be defended without employing force, and he replied in the 
n^ative. " Then there is nothing more to be done," she 
answered, " for I will not have a dvil war." The servants of the 
household b^an to run away, as rats desert a sinking ship. Pietri, 
the Minister of Police, arrived, and said : " We are betrayed. All 
resistance is impossible, and the forces on which we relied are 
leaving us. The safety of Your Majesty necessitates an immediate 

The Empress bade farewell to her friends, most of whom wished ni|ht to 
to accompany her ; but she said that it would be impossible. She ■■<l»»^ 
was left alone with Mettemich, Nigra, the two Chevreaus, Pietri, 
and her reader, Madame Lebreton. Eventually she found an 
asylum in the house of her faithful friend Evans, the American 
dentist, the most upright of men, who, admitted to the friendship 
of almost every reigning house in Europe, remained xmtil his death 
the trusted confidant of all, as he had been the trusted confidant 
of Heine in his youth. He took the Empress and her companions, 
with infinite wisdom, to TrouviDe, where his wife was staying, 
avoided those mistakes which ruined the flight of the old monarchy 
to Varennes, and, on a stormy night, one of the most tempestu- 
ous of the centiuy, the night on which the Captain foundered, 
conveyed the Imperial party in a private yacht to Cowes. 

It is needless to describe the dying agonies of the Senate and 
the legislative body. These were neither very long nor very 
dignified. Thiers expressed the general feeling when he said : 



" We have only a few moments to pass together. We will not 
dissolve, but retire each one to his own house, to live as good 
citizens devoted to our country. We, indeed, neither resist nor 
assist those who are fighting against the enemy. We can only say, 
' God help them 1 ' " 
TIm Prauy Paris gave itself up to scenes already too common in its history, 
•f itYolv- With characteristic levity the ensigns of the Empire — ^the eagles 
**•"• and the crowned N — ^were destroyed ; omnibuses ran as usual ; 

shops and cbUs were open ; cries of " Vive la Ripublique I " 
alternated with the playing of the Marseillaise. The poUce were 
absent, and in the streets soldiers and prostitutes indulged in 
pubhc debauch, as they had done in the Palais Koyzi at the 
beginning of the century, before the arrival of Napoleon as 
First Consul. At night the theatres were open and there was 
almost an illumination. 

When history narrates these epochal catastrophes, it is difficult 
to realise how little they interrupt the general course of human 
affairs. On Sunday, June i8th, 1815, when the fate of the world 
was being decided a few miles off, at Waterloo, the caf6s along 
the boulevards of Brussels, which led to the battlefield, were all 
open, and the crowds, who sipped their sugared water, gazed 
upon the passage of wotmded soldiers and fugitives as an amusing 
Oerman The Imperial family was once more in exile — ^Napoleon at Wil- 

AdTanoe on helmshohe, the Prince Imperial and the Empress at Hastings, and 
^*^ Prince Napoleon at Florence, whence he was soon expelled, though 

his wife drove out of the Palais Royal in Paris in her own carriage 
like a true Princess. Pietri, Palikao, Chevreau, Rouher, Gramont 
and Benedetti sought safety in emigration. But the German peril 
was at the gates. If it had been forgotten in the moment of 
exultation, it now returned as a burden of sorrow, soxmding 
through all the chants of triumph. On September 4th King 
William was at R^thel, on September 5th at Reims, and in a 
week's time he would be at Paris. 

The German army received its marching orders on the evening 
of September 2nd, and next morning advanced in different direc- 
tions on Paris, embarrassed with 120,000 prisoners. They were to 
be within ten leagues of the capital by September 14th. The Third 
Army was to escort the prisoners to Pont-lL-Mousson and, having 
handed them over to the troops before Metz, join the Crown 
Prince. The army of the Crown Prince of Prussia was to march 
to Versailles, that of the Crown Prince of Saxony to St. Denis. 
Their routes intersected each other at Reims, but all passed with- 


out disaster. The march proceeded quietly and r^[ularly. Pre- 
ceded by the trusty Uhlans, their mounted scouts, they moved 
in open order, always mthin reach of Moltke, who coi^d direct 
them where he pleased. After the surrender of Reims on 
September 5th, Laon was occupied on September 8th, but a 
terrific explosion of a powder magazine killed 50 Germans and 
300 Gardes mobiles. 

As the armies approached Paris they met with a certain 
amount of resistance, and a few combats took place, which were 
of no great importance. Versailles was occupied on September 
19th, and the defiling of the troops through the town lasted from 
10 in the morning till 5 in the afternoon. Versailles remained the 
headquarters of the King and the Crown Prince of Prussia tiU the 
close of the war. 

In the investment of Paris the Crown Prince of Saxony How Pwli 
occupied the right bank of the Seine and the lower Maine from ^•^ 
Argenteuil by Montmagny and Blanc-Mesnil, and through the 
wood of Bondy to Goumay ; the Crown Prince of Prussia occupied 
the left bank of the Seine from Goumay to Bonneuil, Choisy-le- 
Roy, Thiais, Chevilly, Sceaux, Meudon, Sfevres and Bougival. 
The two armies touched each other at the peninsula of ArgenteuiL 
The forces taking part in the investment, which eventuaUy reached 
the number of 250,000, were divided in such a way that the 
Prussians occupied the north and west, the Bavarians the south, 
the Saxons the east ; while the Wiirtembergers were stationed 
before the Paris forts. After the combats of Petit-Bicfitre and 
Chatillon on September 19th, the investment was complete, six 
army corps occupying a space of fifty miles and standing in some 
places within the fire of the fortifications. 

Paris was now a fortress of the first rank, its river line Foptlllca- 
of defences being composed of ninety-four armed bastions, and *J^ •' 
the second line by a circle of advanced forts, well provided with 
garrisons and guns, one of which, Mont Val6rien, was regarded as 
impregnable. Besides these, the hills surroimding Paris were 
furnished with entrenchments and redoubts, all connected with 
each other. Bismarck had no desire to storm the capital, but 
determined to invest it and trust to the effects of famine. He 
wished, it is said, to allow the Parisians to " stew in their own 
juice," a very brutal expression, perhaps not historically accurate. 
He believed that, if all suppUes of food were carefully cut off, a 
population of 2,000,000, many accustomed to luxury and self- 
indulgence, could not hold out for very long. Great pains were, 
therefore, taken to make the lines of investment impenetrable. 



Gaplwe of 

Qapltol of 

But Paris and Metz were not the only cities which were being 
besieged by German armies. Toul, an ancient city of Lorraine, 
which with Metz and Verdun formed the "Three Bishoprics/' 
the first territory ceded by the Teutons to the French, capitu« 
lated on September 23rd, after a terrible bombardment. The 
possession of this city opened up for the Germans direct railway 
communication with the Rhine. Four days later, on September 
27th, Strassbuig, the great frontier city of the Rhine, the most 
important acquisition of Louis XVL, fell into the hands of the 
Germans, having held out since August loth. In the bombard- 
ment great pains were taken to spare the cathedral, which was 
only slightly injured. On the other hand, the public library, con- 
sisting of about 300,000 volumes, many of exceptional value, was 
entirely destroyed. 

A natural result of the fall of the Empire was the withdrawal 
of the French garrison from Rome and the establishment of Rome 
as the capital of Italy. Indeed, an announcement of this policy 
had been made by OUivier on July 31st, 1870. It was obvious 
that the Papal troops were quite unable to protect the Papal 
territory. On August 29th a public declaration was made by the 
Ministr}' at Florence that the capital would be transferred to 
Rome before the end of September. On the ist of that month 
Victor Emmanuel proposed to the Pope that Rome should be 
occupied by the Italians on the following conditions : The Pontiff 
was to retain his sovereignty over the Leonine city — ^that is, over 
the portion of Rome situated across the Tiber and occupied mainly 
by St. Peter's and the Vatican, and over all the ecclesiastical 
institutions in the city. The incomes of the Pope, the Cardinals, 
and all the Papal officers and officials were to remain unchanged. 
The Papal debt was to be guaranteed to the Pope, and the 
Cardinal were to retain their present immunities, even if not 
residing in the Leonine city. All nations were to be freely 
admitted to Rome, and the Catholic clergy throughout the whole 
of Italy were to be immime from government supervision, and 
the laws with regard to military service, inheritance of estates, 
and municipal government were to be modified so far as Rome 
was concerned. Unhappily the Pope refused to accept these 
offers, and the division between Church and State in Italy still 

On the morning of Sunday, September nth. the Italian troops 
entered Roman territory, and Viterbo was occupied without 
opposition. The garrison of Rome numbered 9,000 men of different 
kinds, and the gates were barricaded and strengthened by earth- 



works. The garrison had sixty guns, and the extent of walls to be 
defended was thirteen miles long. The storm began on September 
20th, but after three hours' fighting breaches were made at each 
of the points attacked, and when the Italian troops began to 
charge with the bayonet the Papal troops ran away. Then Keyler, 
the commandant, hoisted the white flag, and negotiations for 
surrender were begim. The ItaUans lost 21 killed and 117 
wounded, the Papsd troops 6 killed and 20 or 30 wounded. A 
plebiscite for the annexation of the Papal territory to Italy was 
taken on October 2nd, with the result that 136,681 voted ** Yes " 
and only 1,507 " No." The transcendent event, the completion 
of Italy by the crown of Rome, the dream of so many generations, 
the goal of the strivings of so many patriots, the cause for which 
so many men had suffered and died, was accomplished by a coup 
de main, which, in the general turmoil of European affairs, passed 
almost without notice. 

After Werder had captured Strassbuig, he was sent to conquer Hm 
the southern portion of Alsace, from Schlettstadt to Belfort, and OMrillM 
drive the mobiles and the free corps out of the passes of the ^mmL. 
Vosges, in which they were conducting a guerilla warfare. They 
had collected together from all parts, and their operations were 
conducted from the lofty Plateau of Langres, which played so 
important a part in the war of 1814. These antagonists are the 
most difficult to deal with in the invasion of a country. They 
come into existence from the necessity of the case, yet cannot 
be treated as belligerents and must be put down with severity. 
They inflicted serious losses on the regular troops, and the 
measures needed for their extermination constitute a stain on 
the conduct of the war. Great Britain had experience of them 
in the South African War, in which the measures adopted for 
their suppression only produced additional irritation, and she 
allied herself with them in Spain against Napoleon, when they 
were called patriots and resisters of tyranny and oppression. They 
were for many years the curse of La Vendue, where they were 
also assisted by the British Government until they were put down 
by the genius of Napoleon. 

Certainly the conduct of the war by the German armies forms Oanuui 
a striking contrast to the wild attacks of these undisciplined com- 
batants, and even to the behaviour of the French r^^ular troops. 
The German operations were a triumph of reason, calculated effort, 
and unbroken discipline. Every loss was rapidly repaired ; roads, 
bridges, railways were promptly mended ; a man lost by death, 
disease, or desertion was immediately replaced; hundreds of 



thousands of anned warriors obeyed the order of a single mouth, 
the thought of a single brain. Disobedience and mutiny were 
unknown. The French, clinging to the old ideas of chivalry and 
dash, confident in the strength of outworn principles and ideals, 
were no match for the cultured, spectacled, serious masses of a 
national army, which now came down upon them with resistless 
might, but also with the moderation and self-command which 
should always be at hand to temper the exercise of power. The 
order imposed by Moltke on the general conduct of the war was 
shown in the detailed execution of it, in the discipline of the 
corps, the organisation of the field force, the accuracy of field 
tel^praphy, the faultless commissariat, the quality of the food 
supplied, in which the famous " pea sausage " played an 
important part, the rapid communication by field-railways, the 
admirable sanitary arrangements, and the devotion of men and 
women of all classes in the work of the hospitals and the care of 
How the War is a hideous thing, but it loses much of its horror when 

^^f^o^otUm directed by organised reason and intelligence. The first Napoleon 
wen on. ^^^^^.^j^^ incarnation of order, no person having ever manifested 
in such harmonious equilibrium the spirit of calculation and the 
energy of passion ; but he had to build upon a foundation which 
was not strong enough to bear the weight of his ideas. When he 
saw that his last hope had been defeated at Waterloo, he said, 
" It has always been the same since Cr^y ! " Bismarck and 
Moltke were able to act upon a surer foimdation ; the victories 
of Sedan and Paris were won, not in the playing fields of public 
schools, but in the classrooms of gymnasiums and on the b^iches 
of universities. 
The We have already recorded that, on October 5th, King WiUiam 

Germans at moved his headquarters to Versailles. In these gilded saloons 
""* *•• the aged monarch slept on a field-bed, the General Staff developed 
their plans for the administration of a conquered France, Bismarck 
plied his diplomatic arts to prevent the interference of Europe 
with his plans. The halls and galleries, silent for years, echoed 
once more to the throng of princes and courtiers. Unfortunately, 
during the siege of Paris the lovely coimtry which stretches 
between the ch&teau and the capital was gradually turned into 
a howling desert. St. Cloud, the scene of so many historical 
events, was set on fire by the French, and only with difl&culty 
and danger could the Germans save any part of the edifice 
and the costly works of art it contained. Malmaison, insepar- 
ably connected with the name of Josephine and the First Con- 



sulate of Napoleon, was ruined in a sally by the French on 
October 21st. 

A new character was given to the struggle by Lton Gambetta, RIm of 
a man of commanding ideas and fiery eloquence, who always kept ^"* >< tt *' 
the leaders of the Great Revolution before his eyes. He left 
Paris in a balloon, and reached Tours on October 7th, where he 
joined the provisional Government. He spared no effort to rouse 
the country against the invaders and compel the retirement of 
the besieging army. For this purpose France, with the exception 
of Paris, was divided into four governments — ^the north, under 
Bourbaki, with Lille for its capital ; the south, under Fi^rick, 
who had his headquarters at Le Mans ; the centre, under Palikao, 
in Bourges ; and the last, under Cambri61s, in Besan9on. Eleven 
camps of instruction were also formed against the enemy. 
Two armies, which bore the names of the Loire and the Seine, 
were to advance upon Paris and assist in sorties organised 
by Trochu. 

In accordance with this policy sorties were made on October Bovtit 
13th and October 21st, the first in the south and the second in the ^•*' 
west, and the more important attack on Le Bourget, in the south- 
east, which took place on October 28th and caused great sensation 
in Europe. The French succeeded in driving the Germans from 
Le Bourget and holding it for two days, but they were eventually 
driven back after an obstinate engagement. There was great 
difficulty in keeping up communication between the capital and 
the provinces, because all the telegraph wires had been destroyed 
by the invading army. This difficulty was surmounted to a great 
extent with admirable ingenuity by the use of carrier pigeons and 

In^forming his plans for the relief of Paris, Gambetta had 
counted on the co-operation of Bazaine, who was shut up with ^ 
his army in Metz, but before the organisation of the Army of the 
Seine was completed Bazaine capitulated. On October nth he 
sent one of his adjutants, Boyer, to the headquarters at Versailles 
to propose terms. He demanded for his army a free departure 
with arms and baggage, with the obligation not to take part in the 
war for three months, while Metz preserved the right of defending 
herself. At the same time private negotiations were conducted 
between Bazaine and the Empress Eugenie in England, with the 
object of emplo3dng the army of Metz for the restoration of the 
Empire. The history of these negotiations is imperfectly known, 
but it is probable that Bazaine was deceived by Bismarck for his 
own purposes. These n^otiations came to no result, and Bazaine 

P 325 


aflep Meti. 

Garibaldi in 
the Yotget. 

was at last forced to capitulate on similar terms to those which 
had been granted to the French army at Sedan. If he had only 
held out for a fortnight longer the course of the war might have 
been materially altered. As it was, Metz and its fortifications 
were delivered to the enemy, with arms, munitions of war, and 
provisions ; and the whole army, including three marshals — 
Bazaine, Canrobert and Leboeuf — ^with 6,000 officers and more 
than 150,000 soldiers, became prisoners of war. The disarma- 
ment took place on October 27th and 28th, in a meadow 
on the road between Jamy and Metz. A catastrophe of this 
kind has seldom been recorded in the history of any European 

In the last months of 1870 the northern half of France, from 
the Jura to the English Channel, from the frontier of Belgium to 
the Loire, was one vast battlefield. Of the troops set free by the 
capitulation of Metz, part remained behind as a garrison under 
Zastrow, having also the object of attacking Thionville, and part 
marched to the north under Manteufiel, to occupy Picardy and 
Normandy and prevent Bourbaki from approaching Paris. Another 
portion joined the Second Army, which, under the command of 
Prince Frederick Charles, had its headquarters in Troyes, This 
army was supported on the right by Von der Tann and the 
Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, and on the left by Werder, who 
was on one side opposed to the French Army of the Loire and 
on the other to the volunteer corps of Garibaldi. Other detach- 
ments went to strengthen these armies, which were besieging 
Paris, and were also sent against the forces in the north. The 
result of the various movements was that Soissons fell on October 
i6th, Verdun on November 8th, Thionville on November ^th, 
Pfalzburg on December 12th, Montm^dy on December 14th, 
and M6zi^es on January 2nd, 1871, the garrisons of all these 
towns being sent as prisoners to Germany. One fortress, the 
httle castle of Bitsch, nestling among the moimtains of Alsace, 
was never taken, and did not come into the possession of the 
Germans till the peace. 

We have already mentioned that Werder had great difficulty 
in dealing with the mutinous districts of the Jura and the Vosges^ 
in consequence of the resistance of the inhabitants. These were 
jdined by Garibaldi and his two sons, Ricciotti and Menotti, who 
were accompanied by a motley crew of RepubUcans of all 
nationahties — ^Italians, Spaniards and Poles. Lyons, with the 
camp of Santonay and the industrial town of St. Etienne, was a 
centre of rebellious excitement. The red flag floated in the streets* 



and the Socialists, who got command of the town, established a 
reign of violence and terror. Garibaldi, who had been brought 
from Caprera to France in a French ship, proceeded by way of 
Marseilles to Tours, where he received the command of all the 
free corps on the Vosges. He established his headquarters in 
D61e on October 14th. 

In the chilly days of November and December, when Treskow CaptoM ttf 
b^an the siege of Belfort, a violent struggle took place in ^^^"^ •■* 
Burgundy, round Vesoul and Montbeliard, Gray and Dijon. ^®"' 
The last-named city, the old capital of Burgundy, was taken 
on the last day of October, by Prince William of Baden, and 
this success assisted the capture of Belfort, bravely defended by 
its commandant, Denfert-Rochereau. When Treskow entreated 
him not to increase the horror of the war unnecessarily, he replied 
that the best method of effecting that would be the retreat of the 
Germans. Dijon was held with difficulty and had to be evacuated 
more than once, while the night attack on Chitillon by Ricciotti 
Garibaldi, which cost considerable loss to the Germans, showed 
the dangers to which the invading army was exposed. It seemed 
possible that the line of the Rhine might be reconquered, and the 
valleys of the Black Forest exposed to attack. 

Gambetta now set himself to involve the whole French people enerUla 
in the struggle against the Germans, and make the annihilation of Taellii. 
the enemy a national duty. The character of the war became 
very bloodthirsty, and the attacks of guerilla combatants 
upon the German troops had, as we have said, to be put 
down by severe reprisids. In the night of October 7th a 
squadron of Prussian hussars was attacked by free corps at 
Athis and almost entirely destroyed. An example was necessary, 
and the town was burned. The neutral Powers were horrified 
at these measures, which, however, were shown to be absolutely 

In October some cavalry regiments were sent in a southerly DsCmI of 
direction to explore the country between the Seine and the Loire, ■•^•'•«i»- 
make requisitions, and fall in with the rearguard of the Army of 
the Loire tmder La Motterouge, who was marching to the relief of 
Paris. The Crown Prince, learning that this force was in Toury, 
which lies between Orleans and J^tampes, sent against them 
General von der Tann, with the first Bavarian army corps and 
some North German troops. They came up with the rearguard 
of the retreating French at Artenay on October loth, compelled 
them to fight in the forest of Orleans, and, on the following day, 
took possession of Orleans. Motterouge was deprived of his 




command by Gambetta, who gave it to Aurelle de Paladines, who 
had served in Africa, the Crimea and Italy. 

The new commander got together the various contingents 
which had been formed and practised in the several camps of 
instruction, and set himself not only to recover the line of the 
Loire, but to cross the stream at various points and carry out 
the original design of a march towards Paris. Although great 
pains were taken to conceal these movements, they came to Von 
der Tann's knowledge. In order that his flank might not be 
turned, he evacuated Orleans on November 8th, leaving his sick 
behind, in charge of the municipality, as he hoped to be able to 
return. Wittich, who had been sent against Ch&teaudun and 
captured it with difficulty, defended as it was by Gardes mobiles 
and free corps under the command of Lipowski, a Pole, received 
orders to retreat to Chartres. A severe battle took place at 
Coulmiers on November loth, in which the French were much 
superior in numbers, and Von der Tann had some difficulty in 
effecting his retreat to Tours, where he was joined by Wittich. 
In the fight, which lasted from daybreak to dusk, the French lost 
2,000 killed and wounded, and the Germans only a little more 
than half this, showing the difference between seasoned troops and 
hot, inexperienced levies. 

The victory at Coulmiers caused great rejoicings to the French 
lalhnsUim. ^^^ some discouragement to the Germans. Gambetta, to whose 
energy and genius it was mainly due, did everything in his power 
to increase the forces at his disposal, and unite the whole strength 
of the south and north in common action. He summoned up, as 
it were, from the soil new forces from the south. He hastened 
in person to the camp of Conlie, in Brittany, and succeeded in 
reconciling the two generals, Charette and K6ratry, who had 
quarrelled. But his principal hopes for the salvation of France 
and the deliverance of Paris from the iron ring which enclosed her, 
lay in the Army of the Loire and the energetic leadership of Aurelle 
de Paladines. But, as before, enthusiasm and zeal were no match 
for discipline and experience. The German troops in the vicinity 
of the Loire were united in a single army under the command of 
Frederick Francis, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. A 
week after the battle of Coulmiers he inflicted such defeats at 
Dreux, Chateauneuf, Bigny, and in the forest of St. Jean, upon 
Gardes mobiles, who imder Fi^reck were attempting to join 
the Army of the Loire, that he not only prevented the threatened 
junction, but created such dismay among the young recruits that 
K^ratry laid down his command and Fi6reck had to be super- 




seded. Some detachments retired by way of Nogent-le-Rotrou 
to Le Mans, where they were followed and watched by the 

The Grand Duke now received orders to march farther to the Itteaipte to 
east and join the Second Army tmder Prince Frederick Charles* *•"•¥• 
This resulted, on November 28th, in the indecisive Battle of '**• 
Beamie-la-Rolande, north-east of the Forest of Orleans, in which 
the French were as numerous as the Germans. Both sides were 
aware of the importance of the battle and the influence it would 
have on the progress of the war. It was therefore contested with 
the utmost energy, and the losses on both sides were corresponds 
ingly heavy. The Germans, however, had the best of it, and the 
French were prevented from carr3ang out their design of proceed- 
ing to Paris by way of Fontainebleau. Further attempts to push 
through to the west were repelled in a number of engagements 
fought by the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin between 
Artenay and Chateaudim, the most important being the Battle 
of Loigny, on December 2nd, the great day of the fallen Empire. 
The French were compelled to retreat with serious loss, but the 
Germans also suffered considerably, their difBiculties being 
enhanced by the endless labour caused by the nature of the 
muddy soil, now thoroughly soaked with rain, and the cold winter 
which had begim to make itself felt. 

Trochu, who commanded at Paris, was not ignorant of the Tiochii'i 
efforts which were being made to relieve him. He did his best j^*^^*** 
to second them by repeated sorties to the south and west, and 
desired to effect a junction with the Army of the Loire in the 
Forest of Fontainebleau. But the possibility of relief from the 
side of the Loire was gradually coming to an end. The day after 
the Battle of Loigny, the French were driven back from Pougny, 
and the result of four days' fighting on the bank of the Loire and 
the edge of the thick forest which protects Orleans was that the 
French were eventually compelled to abandon their positions 
and retire to the south, the Germans reaching Orleans on 
December 4th. Trochu's attempts to break through the lines 
of investment at the same time and join the Army of the 
Loire were also repulsed. It is impossible to contemplate 
without a deep sense of pathos the result of the passionate 
efforts of the French, everjrwhere crushed by the iron hand of 
the relentless foe, like the struggles of a boar in the folds of a 

By the capture of Orleans a large number of prisoners and 
much booty fell into the hands of the Germans, and what remained 



of the Army of the Loire retreated down the river to Blob. 
Bishop Dupanloup was taken in his palace, and his cathedral was 
turned into a receptacle for captives. Gambetta narrowly escaped' 
being captured on his way from Tours to the field of battle. He 
was dissatisfied with the manner in which Aurelle de Paladines 
had conducted the campaign, and reUeved him of his conunand. 
He now conceived the plan of forming his levies into two divisiims, 
one of Tidiich should operate towards the east under the command 
of Bourbaki, who had relinquished the command of the Army of 
the North to Faidherbe, while the other, under Czemy, should 
undertake the duty of expelling the enemy from the lower and 
middle Loire. For the purpose of conducting these operations with 
greater freedom, the seat of the Grovemment was removed, on 
December loth, from Tours to Bordeaux, and was followed there 
by a portion of the Diplomatic Body. 
»*■ The struggle of the French against the invaders became more 

^^•^^•'•***"* and more severe. The feeling of desperation grew stronger, and 

this was enforced by the pressure of the French Government, 
which drove combatants into the field and extracted money from 
all quarters. Chanzy, the commander of the second Army of 
the Loire, conducted a splendid resistance against the troops of 
the Grand Duke of Mecklenbuig-Schwerin at Meung, Beaugency 
and Marchenoir, and gained considerable advantages, until Prince 
Frederick Charles, who had at last driven back Bourbaki, came 
to the Grand Duke's assistance. Chanzy was driven back towards 
Blois and Toms, both of which were soon occupied. Chanzy now 
retired to Vend6me and Le Mans, in the valley of the Sarthe, to 
strengthen the Army of the West, while Bourbaki was driven to 
the south, and the whole country as far as Bourges and Nevers 
was occupied by German troops. The great object had been to 
prevent the Army of the Loire from reaching Paris, and this 
object was attained. Orleans, Chartres and Beauvais were used 
by the invading army as places of concentration of their forces 
directed against the south, west and north. About Christmas 
there was a cessation of hostihties to give the troops rest. Von 
der Tann established a kind of winter quarters in Orleans. Men 
and horses needed repose, and their equipment repairs, while the 
shoes of the infantry had been destroyed by constant marches 
in the snow and rain. The French were even in worse plight ; 
the inhabitants had fled in terror, and the wounded, overflowing 
the neighbouring hospitals, had to be taken as far as Bayonne, 
Biarritz and Pau. It was sometimes difficult to get the mobiles 
to stand their ground. 



After a fortnight's rest the united armies of Prince Frederick Battle «f 
Charks and the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, number- ^* **"•• 
ing more than 70,000 men, advanced against Chanzy. In the 
midst of the paral3^ing cold of an unusually severe winter the 
Germans pursued the French over fields whose surface was covered 
with snow and slippery ice. Shot at by the sharpshooters of the 
free corps, who lay in ambush behind every hedge and every wall, 
the Germans moved slowly by painful efforts, hill after hill and . 
field after field, but a decisive battle took place at the gates of 
Le Mans on January nth and 12th, 1871, and the camp of Conlie 
was captured on January 15th. Chanzy was compelled to retire 
to Laval, where he attempted to reorganise the relics of his army, 
and the Germans pressed forward to Alengon. 

The attempts to reach Paris by the armies of the south and Further 
west were seconded by the effort of the beleaguered forces to break ?•*?•• ^'^^ 
through the lines of investment and join their deUverers. For 
this purpose batteries armed with large pieces of field ordnance 
had been erected on the heights of Mont Avron to the east of 
Paris, in front of the forts of Nogent and Rosny, in order to 
bombard the villages occupied by the troops of Saxony and 
Wiirtemberg. Ducrot had selected this region as best adapted 
for a successful outbreak, and he issued a proclamation declaring 
that he would return from the attack either a conqueror or 
a corpse. He made frequent assaults on the Germans to the 
south and north to divert the attention of the enemy, while he 
passed beyond Vincennes, carrying his main force in ironclad 
trains, to reach the point against which his efforts were directed. 
Under the protection of a terrible cannonade from Mont Avron 
and the forts of Charenton and Nogent, he threw eight bridges 
across the Mame and attacked the villages of Brie, Champigny. 
Villiers, and Noisy. On November 30th the Germans were able 
to defend their positions for a whole day, but were eventually 
compelled to evacuate Brie and Champigny, which, however, were 
shortly afterwards recovered. In their engagements in the two 
days' battle of ViUiers, Comilly, and other combats, the Germans 
lost about 6,200 men, and the French enjoyed the triumph of 
marching some hundreds of German prisoners through the streets 
of Paris, but they lost on their side 12,000 men and more than 
400 officers. 

The hopes of the defenders of Paris to obtain relief from the 
south gradually disappeared, while cold and hunger produced 
their inevitable results. But the beleaguered city continued to 
look for assistance from the north and north-west, from Normandy, 



Artois and Picardy, the free corps of French Flanders and the 
" Wild Boars of the Ardennes." Since October considerable forces 
had been collected in these regions, supported by the strong places 
of Lille and Amiens, first under the command of Bourbaki and 
then of Faidherbe. The fact that La F&re, St. Quentin and 
P6ronne were in the hands of the French hampered the concen- 
tration of the German forces, and made an advance upon Paris 
possible at any moment. The combat of Formerie between 
Rouen and Amiens on October 28th, 1870, showed how much the 
organisation of the French forces had improved. But Manteuffel 
and G5be, by superhuman efforts, gradually became masters of 
the Valley of the Somme, and Amiens was captured after a great 
battle on November 27th, after which the Germans proceeded to 
the conquest of Normandy. 
TheOnuh- Rouen fell on December 6th, and three days later, by the 
2* ^ conquest of Dieppe, the Germans reached the shores of the English 
Channel, the French taking refuge in Le Havre, where the soldiers 
arrived in the most miserable condition without clothes and with- 
out shoes. The peasants took refuge in the same place, although 
their peace was afterwards disturbed by patrolling Uhlans. Ten 
da3rs later the repulse of a sortie, organised by Trochu on a large 
scale at Le Bourget, already the scene of hard-fought engagements, 
gave the Germans and the French the opportunity of celebrating 
their Christmas in comparative peace. Christmas Eve was marked 
by the long-protracted and sanguinary Battle of Hallue. At 
Bapaume, on January 2nd and 3rd, 1871, the victory remained 
uncertain, the French retreating to the north and the Germans 
to the south. Rouen had to be carefully watched by Bentheim, 
and many prisoners were taken. The Germans learnt from them 
that the population was becoming tired of the war and that the 
mobUes had to be driven into the field by force. The stores of the 
French became gradually less. Roncy was captured on January 
8th and P^ronne on January loth. The departure of Manteuffel 
for the Army of the East inspired Faidherbe with new courage. 
Reinforced by fresh arrivals of marines and Gardes tnobiles, he 
determined to make an attack on the lines of investment ; but he 
suffered a serious defeat at St. Quentin on January 19th, and that 
important fortress was lost to the French. Gambetta now went 
to Lille and did his best to rouse the spirits of the northern army. 
But it was all in vain. The troops were clad in rags and wooden 
shoes, and the people were gradually losing their spirit. Gambetta 
went by way of Calais to Bordeaux to exert in another direction 
the efforts of a heroic defence. Longwy fell on January 25th, 



and the eyes of Europe were turned to a new scene of conflict on 
the Jura and the Sadne. 

The bombardment of Paris, which had long been deferred, Bombaid- 
was now begun on the day after Christmas Day, and increased S!?]^ ^^ 
tenfold the distress of the besieged citizens. The Parisians had 
believed that an effectual bombardment at so great a distance 
was impossible, but when shells were seen to fall in the heart of 
Paris, in the Luxembourg, in the chmxhes of St. Sulpice and 
the Panth6on, when persons were killed in the Rue de Bois and 
the Faubourg St. Germain, there was a general outcry against 
the barbarians who had the audacity to destroy the metropolis of 
civilisation. Trochu was now driven, against his better judgment, 
to make one last effort on January 19th, the day after the King 
of Prussia had been proclaimed Emperor of Gfermany in the Mirror 
Gallery of the Palace of Versailles. The whole of the French 
forces, 100,000 strong, marched in the direction of Meudon, Sevres, 
and St. Cloud for the final struggle. Vinoy commanded on the 
left, Ducrot on the right, while Trochu conducted the whole 
advance from the commanding position of the Observatory. By 
II a.m. the redoubt of Montretout and the villas had been taken, 
but Ducrot was hindered in his advance by the barricades which 
had been erected in the streets of Paris, and was unable to give 
support at the proper time. After an obstinate fight of seven 
hours the French were driven back into Paris, with a loss of 7,000 
men, and next day Trochu demanded an armistice to bury the 
dead. After long discussions a convention was signed providing 
for a suspension of hostiUties from January 28th to February 19th. 
It was stated at Berlin in the succeeding winter, on the authority 
of Moltke, that until this last sortie had been made and failed 
the success of the investment of Paris was still regarded as un- 
certain, and that the King's baggage stood ready packed at 
Versailles in order that he might depart at any moment if it were 
necessary to do so. 

Whilst events were passing on the Seine, the Loire, and the 1 Ualtei 
Somme, and in the east of France, the new German Empire, which *•*!«■. 
was to take the place of the Holy Roman Empire of ancient days, 
to realise the aspirations of many centuries, and make Germany 
a single nation, was slowly coming into being. North Germans 
and South Germans were now fighting together for a common 
cause against a common enemy, and differences of race and creed 
had disappeared on the field of battle. Surely the time had 
come when this imion should be politically consummated, when 
the Main should no longer separate communities which God and 





Nature had joined together ; when Germany should take its pkue 
among the consolidated nations of the world. Badeli was the 
first to show the way. She was foUowed by Bavaria, Wfirtemberg 
and Hesse ; and in November, 1870, the Ministers of thesis four 
States conferred with Bismarck as to the best means of enlarging 
the Horih German League so as to include the South. Some 
difficulty was foimd with Bavaria, a country with a strong national 
life, differing from Prussia in religion and sentiment, and proud 
of its individuaUty. But by mutual concessions these difficulties 
were overcome, and both Bavaria and Wiirtemberg were allowed 
certain privileges with regard to military service, taxes, post and 
telegraphs. A treaty was signed with Bavaria on November 23rd 
and with Wiirtemberg on November 25th. 

These treaties had now to be confirmed by the Parliaments 
of the South and the North. No difficulty was made in Carlsruhe, 
Stuttgart, Darmstadt or Berlin, the necessary majority of two- 
thirds being readily obtained. A great advance in political wisdom 
was apparent since 1848 and 1849. ^^ ^^ ^^^^ recognised that 
compromise is the essence of government, and that strict and 
pedantic adherence to outworn precedents makes progress 
impossible. In Munich, however, strong opposition was met 
with, partly from the Ultra-Catholics and partly from the 
Democrats, the first not liking to submit to the headship of a 
Protestant sovereign, the others holding that the basis of freedom 
lay in particularism, and that it would be fatal to individual 
Uberty to submit to the stem rule which made Prussia a military 
nation and held the community together with an iron hand. 
Many had also dreamed of a future in which Bavaria should be 
at the head of a South German Confederation, Catholic and 
cultivated, sociable and unrestrained, free from the narrow for- 
malism which characterised the North. 

For many weeks the excitement of these debates held Germany 
in suspense, and it was feared that the cause of German unity 
might spell shipwreck to Bismarck. It was said that eighty-five 
members of the Bavarian Chamber had sworn never to consent 
to the Treaty of Versailles, or sanction the admission of the 
country into the North German League. King Ludwig was at 
this time Sovereign of Bavaria, one of the most briUiant and 
attractive personalities that ever occupied a throne. Splendidly 
handsome, full of enthusiasm for art and music and all lofty 
ideals, he was now b^[inning a career which was to end in gloom 
and sorrow. Instinct with the idea of renewing a German Empire 
of which his ancestors had so often been the head, he addressed 


a demand to King William to assmne that position, with the 
assurance that the Upper House of his country was in favour of 
the step, though even then it was doubtful whether the patriots 
in the Lower House would give their consent. 

When it was known that the Reichstag in Berlin had agreed to Tha ■mylM 
the new order of things, and that the proposal of the King of litftblMwd. 
Bavaria had met with the general appro^ of the princes, it was 
determined to send a deputation to Versailles to congratulate the 
King. Thirty members of the Reichstag, with the venerable 
President Simson at their head, carried to their Sovereign the 
wish of the nation that he would accept the dignity offered him, 
and give to the ancient title of Emperor a new lustre. This was 
the second time that Simson had made a similar offer. In 1849 
a small majority of the Frankfort Parliament had begged the 
King of Prussia to assume the crown of the German Empire, and 
the same offer was now made by the German people and its 
princes after a series of brilliant victories. 

On December i8th, 1870, the deputation made its request to The 
the King, who personally acceded to it, and it was arranged that ■mpww 
the new order of things should b^in on January ist of the coming Sj^JJ^jf ** 
year. The pubUc and solemn assent to this act was giveh in 
the Galerie des Glaces at Versailles on January i8th, 1871, the 
117th anniversary of the day when the first King of Prussia, 
Frederick I., received the crown in the old capital of Konigsberg 
and opened a new epoch to the glories of his House. It is needless 
to describe the historic scene when, in the sanctuary of that proud 
palace in which French Sovereigns and Ministers had so often 
plotted for the ruin of the Germany they despised, a new Eiux>pean 
Power was created which should compel France to take a second 
place in the counsels of the world. It came as a cheerful piece of 
news on January 22nd that the Bavarian ParUament had accepted 
the proposal of the new Empire with a sufficient majority. 

The line of demarcation established by the Convention cut Parii 
through the Departments of Calvados and Ome, and left in the 
power of the Germans the Departments of Indre-et-Loire, Sarthe, 
Loir-et-Cher, Loiret and Yonne. It then passed to the north- 
east, but did not include the Departments of Pas-de-Calais and 
Nord. The cessation of war in the Departments of Cote-d'Or, 
Doubs, Jura, and at Belfort was deferred for the present. 
Arrangements were made for the election of a National Assembly, 
which was to meet at Bordeaux and to decide the question of war 
and peace. The whole of the Paris forts were to be immediately 
surrendered and the fortifications dismantled. All the French 



of the 



troops in Paris were to be considered prisoners, with the excep- 
tion of 12,000, who were to be left for the security of the capital. 
They were to remain for the present within the walls of the city, 
their arms being surrendered. The National Guard and the 
gendarmes were allowed to retain their arms for the purpose of 
preserving the peace, but all the free corps were disbanded. 
Measures were taken for the provisioning of Paris. No one was 
allowed to leave the capital without the joint permission of the 
French and Germans, and the municipaUty was to pay a contri«- 
bution of 200,000,000 francs within fourteen days. All German 
prisoners were to be immediately exchanged for a corresponding 
number of French. 

The Convention was carried out with difficulty ; the forts 
were evacuated and occupied by Germans, arrangements were 
made for the elections, and outbreaks of patriotic fury were 
prevented. Gambetta attempted to exclude from the franchise 
for the election of the new Assembly anyone who had served 
under the Empire. Some objection was taken to this, but Jules 
Simon and Arago left for Bordeaux to carry out the work 
according to the conditions of the Convention. Gambetta 
retired ; his miUtary dictatorship was at an end. The arrival of 
provisions for the starving capital was hailed with enthusiasm, 
but the Republicans and advanced Democrats began to cause 
disturbance. They would not accept the situation, attributing 
defeat not to the superiority of the enemy, but to the 
incompetence of the Government. The largest number of votes 
was given to the extreme candidates — ^Victor Hugo, Delescluze, 
Ledru RoUin, Lockroy, Floquet, Louis Blanc, Rochefort, Gam- 
betta, and other members of the International. The coming 
Commune began to announce itself. 

The bloodshed was not at an end. Werder had, for a long 
time, his headquarters in Dijon, from which centre he contested 
several engagements in November and December, 1870. Garibaldi 
directed his operations from Autun and, joining with General 
Cremer, attempted to drive the Germans out of Burgundy and 
relieve Belfort. The battle took place at Nuits, famous for its 
wine, on December i8th, and the Baden troops sustained the 
hottest part of the fray. The French were compelled to retreat 
in the evening, having lost 2,000 dead and wounded, besides 
leaving 700 prisoners in the hands of the enemy. The losses of 
the Germans were also very severe. Gambetta now formed a 
plan by which Bourbaki, perhaps the most competent of the 
French generals, should, with that part of the Army of the Loire 



which, after the second conquest of Orleans, had retired to Bouiges, 
move eastwards towards Nevers and, gathering what reinforce- 
ments he could, throw himself on the German communications, 
set Belfort and the Upper Rhine free, and carry destruction into 
the hills of Baden and the Black Forest. Telegraph wires were 
to be cut, railways broken up, and bridges destroyed, so that the 
retreat of the Germans towards the Rhine might be cut off. In 
pursuance of these plans, the bridge over the Moselle at Fontenay 
was broken down on January 22nd, 1871, and railway communica- 
tions were interrupted for ten days. 

The only barrier to the carrying out of these designs, inspired Battle of 
by the genius of Gambetta, was the force of Werdei, who was TOl«««"^ 
posted at Dijon with 28,000 men, composed of contingents from 
every part of Germany. Whilst Bourbaki was approaching in rapid 
marches by way of Besan9on and MontbeUard to raise the siege 
of Belfort and invade Alsace, Werder was compelled to evacuate 
Dijon, which was immediately occupied by Garibaldi. Proceed- 
ing by forced marches past Gray, Vesotd and Lure, after three 
da)^ Werder got in front of the enemy, whom he defeated on 
January 9th at Villersexel, on the Oignon, losing 27 officers and 
619 men. He then occupied a favourable position on the wooded 
heights beyond the Lisaine, and arrested Bourbaki's march, at 
H6ricourt. Three days' obstinate struggle, on January 15th, i6th 
and 17th, gave Manteuffel time to come up from the north, 
and the victories of Werder at H6ricourt and of Goben at St. 
Quentin were the first gifts of honour which the newly-proclaimed 
Emperor received at Versailles. Bourbaki had intended to march 
from Besan^on in a southerly direction towards Lyons, but it was 
too late. Manteuffel arrived to the assistance of Werder, with 
two army corps — ^the Pomeranians under Fransecky and the 
Westphalians under Zastrow. 

Kettler was left behind at Dijon to watch Garibaldi, posted Bourbaki 
there with 25,000 volunteers, and hold him in check ; whilst the Bowouadoi. 
larger portion of the army marched between the forces of 
Garibaldi and Bourbaki by way of Gray to D61e, an important 
jimction of three railways, thus cutting off the supplies of food 
and clothing which were intended for the hungry and frozen 
soldiers of Bourbaki. Whilst Garibaldi fought against Kettler 
on January 21st, 22nd and 23rd, under the impression that he 
had the whole of Manteuffel's army in front of him, Bourbaki 
was gradually surrounded by the troops of Werder, Zastrow and 
Fransecky in such a manner that they had no alternative but 
cross the frontier into Switzerland. 









Losses of 
the War. 

By the Convention of Paris, the Departments of the C6te d'Or, 
Jura and Doubs had been excepted from the armistice, in order 
that Bourbaki might have an opportunity of relieving Belfort. 
When Jules Favre made these conditions, he did not know that 
Bourbaki was separated from Garibaldi, and that his army was 
in the Jura in a miserable condition, without clothes or ammuni- 
tion. After an engagement at Salins on January 27th, Bourbaki's 
troops were attacked not far from PontarUer on January 29th 
and driven to the frontier, where 10,000 prisoners fell into the 
hands of the Germans. The last two days of January witnessed 
the Battle of Frasne, which caused still greater losses, and 
Bourbaki was reduced to such a state of despair that he attempted 
his Ufe. But the wound was slight, and he was conveyed to 
Lyons, where he speedily recovered. 

His place was taken by Clinchant, who, on February ist, had 
the alternative of a capitulation like that of Sedan or of crossing 
the neutral frontier. He chose the latter, and Europe witnessed 
the spectacle of an army of 65,000 men in the most miserable 
condition, half-starved and scarcely like human beings, crossing 
the frontier and laying down their arms, the Swiss doing their 
utmost to supply their needs. General Cremer, with a small force 
of cavalry, contrived to reach the soil of France. An eye-witness 
tells us that when the French arrived in Switzerland their clothes 
were rent and dropping off them, their hands and feet were frost- 
bitten, their shrunken features and uncertain gait told of gnawing 
himger, their deep coughs and hoarse voices bore witness to long 
nights spent on snow and frozen ground. Some had tied bits 
of wood under their bare feet to protect them from stones ; others 
wore wooden sabots ; himdreds had no socks, and such as were 
worn were only of thin cotton. For weeks none had washed or 
changed his clothes or removed his boots. Some had lost their 
toes ; for three days they had neither food nor fodder served out 
to them, and before that only one loaf was allowed among eight 
men. This was the fourth French army which had been rendered 
useless for further combat since the Germans had invaded France 
in August, the others being those of Sedan, Metz, and Paris. 
Belfort, which had been so nobly defended by Denfert-Roehereau, 
capitulated by order of the French Government on February i6th, 
and the garrison, in recognition of their bravery, were allowed to 
march out with the honours of war. 

Thus ended one of the most remarkable wars in history, 
marked by twenty-three battles and an endless number of other 
engagements. Never before had such large masses of men been 



seen in conflict. The losses of the Germans were calculated at 
5,254 ofiicers and 112,000 men, while those of the French in killed, 
woimded, and prisoners almost defy enumeration. The number 
of German prisoners captured by the Frencjh^jdid not exceed 
10,000, whereas at least 400,000 unarmed frenchmen crossed the 
Rhine as captives. V 



Thb Commuvi 




In ParUu 

The National Assembly at Bordeaux consisted of 750 Deputies, 
elected in Cantons from a list of candidates for each E>epart- 
ment. The general desire was for peace. The peasants had 
chosen Orleanists and Legitimists, as being men well known and 
of position, who could be trusted and were in favour of peace. 
They formed the majority of the Assembly, numbering 400 against 
350. The Departments of the south-east, where the war had 
been most severe, returned Republicans, and in Paris many 
Revolutionaries were chosen. There was not a sufficient number of 
Monarchists to outweigh the Republicans, but they were deter- 
mined not to submit either to Gambetta or to Paris, and therefore 
they left the choice of the form of government to the future. 

Jules Gr6vy, a Republican and an opponent of Gambetta, was 
made President, and Thiers was placed at the head of the 
Executive, as he had been elected in twenty-six Departments 
and was very popular in consequence of his protest against the 
war. He was, indeed, master of the situation. He selected for 
his Ministers moderate RepubUcans, who belonged to the peace 
party, and announced that his poUcy would be confined to 
reorganisation, the restoration of credit, and the revival of 
industry. On February 26th Thiers and Jules Favre signed the 
preliminaries of peace, which were ratified by the Assembly on 
March ist by 546 votes to 107, with 23 abstentions. Napoleon 
III. was formally deposed and declared responsible for the ruin 
of France. 

On this same day the German troops marched through a 
portion of the capital. The amour propre of France had been 
so far considered that an occupation of Paris had been given up, 
but the march had been conceded by Thiers as a ransom for Belfort. 
Prussian and Bavarian troops marched from Mont Val6rien, 
through the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elys6es. The 
Palais de I'lndustrie and the Cirque Imperial were assigned to the 
German troops, and a strong French force guarded the Une which 
separated the occupied districts from the remainder of the city. 
The day passed without serious incident, but was kept throughout 



Paris as a day of mourning. Neither the Emperor nor the Crown 
Prince accompanied the troops. As soon as the ratification of 
the treaty had been notified by Favre to Bismarck, Paris was 
evacuated and the march home begun. The headquarters of 
Versailles were broken up on March 7th. 

As soon as the preliminaries had been ratified, four of the Parte 
Revolutionary Deputies for Paris resigned, refusing to sit in an Repiidi»*«« 
Assembly which had surrendered two provinces, dismembered J^J^^vi 
France, and ruined the coimtry. It was inevitable that a conflict 
should break out in the Bordeaux Assembly between the Revolu- 
tionaries of the towns, especially of Paris, and the Deputies for 
the country districts. The decree allowing the Prussians to enter 
Paris roused intense indignation in the city, and there were signs 
of a coming storm. The cannon which had been purchased by 
the citizens for the defence of Paris were removed to Montmartre 
and Belleville, but the people had the good sense not to attack 
the Prussians. Another cause of offence was that the Bordeaux 
Assembly determined to sit at Versailles and not at Paris. More- 
over, the commercial interests of the capital were neglected by 
the Assembly refusing to sanction the postponement of rent and 
of payments due for commercial transactions which had been 
granted during the siege, and the payment to the working men 
as National Guards, which cost a considerable sum, was stopped. 

When Thiers arrived at Versailles on March 15th he sent P»ri« 
troops to bring back the cannon from Montmartre, and three days ?**^J^|^* 
later the soldiers made common cause with the people. Lecomte, 
who commanded the troops, was shot by the mob, and so was 
Clement Thomas, who happened to be passing. During the day 
the insurrection grew, and Thiers and the other members of the 
Government left Paris, intending to return with an army and 
destroy the rebels who would pillage Paris and ruin France. Thus 
on the morning of March 19th Paris was without regular govern- 
ment, and all authority passed into the hands of the old war 
party — ^the National Guards and the revolutionary RepubUcans. 
A Central Committee of the Federation of the NationaJ Guards, 
which had been formed at the end of February and chosen on 
March 15th, installed itself at the Hotel de ViUe and sent 
representatives to the different Ministries. 

On March 19th the red flag floated from the H6tel de Ville, 
and at half-past eight the Central Committee of the Commune 
held their first meeting in the room from which Trochu used to 
give his orders. The president was a young man of thirty-two — 
Edward Moreau, a commission agent. The Committee spent their 

q 241 


time organising the elections and providing for the carrsong out of 
public affairs, and sat till i o'clock. At 2 the proclamation they 
had drawn up was posted in the town : " Citizens, the people of 
Paris, calm and impassive in their strength, have awaited, with* 
out fear as without passion, the shameless fools who wish to touch 
our Republic. Let Paris and France together lay the founda- 
tion of a true RepubUc — ^the only government which will for 
ever close the era of Revolution. TTie people of Paris is convoked 
to make its elections." This was signed by twenty obscure 
Programme Twenty thousand men were encamped in the square before 
of the the Hdtel de ViUe, with pieces of hard steel at the ends of their 

Commune, muskets, and fifty cannon and mitrailleuses were drawn up in 
front of the building. At the same time a meeting of the heads 
of battalions of the National Guard and of the mayors and 
deputies of the Department of the Seine was being held at the 
Town Hall of the third arrondissement. The Committee fixed 
the date of elections for the following Wednesday, declared the 
state of siege at an end, aboUshed coiul-martials, and gave an 
amnesty for all poUtical causes and offences. At 8 p.m. it 
received a deputation from the mayors and deputies, of which 
C16menceau was the best-known member. The discussion was 
stormy, and lasted till 10.30. The Commune proclaimed its 
programme — ^the election of the municipal council, the suppres- 
sion of the Prefecture of Police, the right of the National Guard 
to elect its officers, the proclamation of the Republic as the legal 
government, the remittance of all rents due, an equitable law on 
over-due bills, and the exclusion of the army from Parisian 
territory. There was yet a third meeting of mayors and deputies 
of the several arrondissements ; this included Louis Blanc, 
Camot and Floquet. At its close the Central Committee held 
a heated debate which lasted far into the night. 
The Central Next morning the Central Committee was summoned to leave 
^nunittee ^j^^ jjg^^i ^^ yjH^ 1,^^ ^jj^y refused to yield, and arranged 

the election of the municipal council for March 22nd. The 
Committee also managed to get 1,000,000 francs advanced for 
current expenses. March 21st was the day of trial for the 
Committee. The Place Vendome was occupied by their soldiers, 
and an attack was made upon them by those who desired to 
support the authority of the Assembly. Firing took place, and a 
certain number were killed. Paris was divided between the 
friends of the Committee and the supporters of the Assembly. 
The night passed quietly ; the Place Vendome was defended by 



barricades, and the battalions of the Hdtel de Ville were 
strengthened. It was impossible to hold the elections on March 
22nd, and they were deferred until March 26th. The mayors 
of the Department of the Seine organised themselves against the 
Committee, and sent a deputation to the National Assembly at 
Versailles ; but when they found that union with the Assembly 
would lead to civil war, they returned to Paris and eventually 
came to terms with the Committee. 

The elections were held on Sunday, March 26th, a day of Conitttntloa 
quiet, with order and regularity ; and the Commune, the govern- ^ *^ 
ment of Paris by its own mimicipality, was proclaimed. The 
majority of the Central Committee were RepubUcans and 
Socialists, but they did not put forth any programme of social 
reform. Their one desire was to defend what they called Repub- 
lican principles, and the autonomy of the Commune, against 
those whom they designated as the " Men of Versailles," the 
only people from whom an organised government could be 
expected. The newly-elected General Coimcil of the Commune 
consisted of ninety members ; of these, fifteen, the most 
moderate, retired a few days after their election. The rest 
belonged to the party of the insiurection and retained their 
seats. Among them were a few members of the original Central 
Committee, but there were associated with them representatives 
of all the extreme doctrines which had been disseminated among 
the lower classes of Paris since the fall of the Empire. There 
were followers of Blanqui, either pure and simple, or with a 
difference ; advocates of a democratic dictatorship ; Radicals 
like F61ix Pyat and Delescluze, who sprang up in the last years 
of the Empire and wished to revive the Jacobin tradition of 
1793 ; June Socialists ; " Reds," who were ignorant both of 
the theory and practice of government, but who had a desire 
for the existence and the opportunities of the revolution ; and 
seventeen members of the International, who favoured sweeping 
social changes, to be carried out by peaceful means. The last 
were the members of the Committee who had the clearest ideas 
of what they wanted and from whom most had to be expected. 
Although the General Council was thus finally constituted, the 
General Committee did not altogether surrender its powers, but 
continued to act in order to serve as a bond between the Council 
and the National Guard, over whom it continued to have con- 
siderable influence. The Commune was never able to divest 
itself of the double authority of the General Council and the 
Central Committee. 



TIm Worii 
of the 

Failnra of 

The General Council began its work on March 29th* It 
appointed committees to carry out the various branches of 
government, with full powers — ^an executive committee, a finance 
committee, committees of war, justice, public security, subsistence, 
labour, manufactures, commerce, foreign relations, public service, 
and education. It remitted all rents due in October, 1870, and 
January and April, 1871, and gave a respite of three years in 
respect of commercial obligations. It abolished conscription and 
established compulsory military service for all able-bodied men 
between the ages of eighteen and forty, adopted the Republican 
calendar and the red flag, and declared all the acts of the 
Government of Versailles to be null and void. 

There can be no doubt that the leading members of the 
committees laboured hard in their several departments to realise 
the ideals they set before themselves. It was impossible, in the 
short time at their disposal, and in the circimistances, to do 
much ; but they set before the people of Paris a high standard of 
independence and hard work. The names of those engaged in 
this work and of the members of the International are Uttle 
known. The Republicans were more familiar. Foremost amongst 
them was Delescluze, the intimate friend, first of Ledru Rollin, 
then of Rochefort, Flourens, Raoult-Rigault, Cluseret and Fdix 
Pyat. Blanqui had been chosen, but he was a prisoner at 
Versailles and could not take his seat. He was represented by 
Paschal Grousset, a man of culture and refinement, who had 
chaige of foreign affairs. Rochefort was a member, but he had 
sufficient insight to distrust the success of the movement, and did 
not take an important part in it. Jourde was a good Minister 
of Finance. 

But however excellent the intentions of the Commimal Govern- 
ment may have been, it was not likely that they could be 
effectually carried out. There was a lack of imity and organisa- 
tion, and an absence of discipline and knowledge of affairs ; 
conflicting orders were given, confused and difficult to accomplish ; 
much was destroyed, Uttle constructed. The committees at first 
estabUshed were changed, both in the persons of whom they were 
composed and in the work they were to undertake, while their 
methods were modelled too much after the example of 1793. 
They made domicihary visits in search of suspected persons, and 
filled the public offices with their own adherents. Among the 
mayors and municipal officers were seen citizens like Malou, 
Tolain, Heligon, Murat, sitting by the side of millionaires like 
Tiraud, distinguished barristers like Herisson, statesmen like 



Cl^menceau, men of letters like Henri Martin. But the instru- 
ments of which they made use were far from creditable. Twenty 
or thirty thousand criminals served in the National Guard ; a 
corps of women was formed, which contained, together with the 
famous women of the markets, a number of very doubtful 
characters. There was little security of property in the city ; 
the National Guard thought more of attacking Versailles than of 
keeping order, and the so-called police were themselves among 
the worst offenders. Passes and certificates of security were 
bought and sold. 

On April 3rd the Gardes Nationaux FidirSs, the soldiers of ^»rf» «*»*• 
the Commune, attempted a sortie in retaliation for an attack ^•'••^^••* 
made by the troops of Versailles the evening before, and marched 
upon Versailles in three columns. They occupied an important 
flanking position against Versailles, in the neighbourhood of 
Asni^res and Neuilly, and protected the passage with strong 
barricades. This success stimulated the Commime to further 
efforts. The soldiers of the Commune who were taken prisoners 
were shot without trial, the Government treating the Communards 
not as poUtical rebels, but as criminals. The Commune retaliated 
by seizing certain people of good position, who were suspected 
of sympathy with Versailles, and said that any execution of a 
soldier of the Commune would be followed by the shooting of 
these hostages. They also arraigned the heads of the Ver- 
sailles Government — Thiers, Dufaure, Picard, Sommer — before 
their courts and confiscated their property. As we have said. 
Paschal Grousset imdertook Foreign Affairs, and Cluseret and 
afterwards Rossel represented War, assisted by the Pole Dom- 

The principles of the Commune spread to the provinces. Lyons, Baooad Stoge 
St. fitienne, Creusot, Narbonne, Marseilles, Toulouse, Limoges, ^ '•'*•• ' 
all set up Communal governments, which, however, had little 
strength and did not last long. They indulged in shouts of 
" Vive Paris ! " but had no power of control, and could not 
assist the city they regarded as their head. Therefore the 
Government of Versailles had before it the simple task of 
reducing Paris, and when the army of Thiers, which was mainly 
composed of soldiers who had returned from captivity in Ger- 
many, was sufficiently concentrated, the second siege of Paris 
was begun. 

Attempts were made at this time to bring about a reconcilia- Co timi o — '■ 
tion between Versailles and Paris. A so-called League and Union, |l^fj^ 
formed among the citizens of Paris for the preservation of 



•f Poblie 


municipal rights, conducted this work, assisted by the Free- 
masons ; and on Apiil nth, 1871, a deputation from Lyons 
visited Versailles and then Paris, but to no purpose, as the 
Government of Versailles would make no terms. The move- 
ment, however, had the effect of inducing the Commime to declare 
its objects, which was done in a document called a *' Testament." 
Their aims, it seemed, were to establish the absolute autonomy 
of the Commune throughout the whole of France, which should 
secure to every Frenchman the full exercise of his rights and 
indinations as man, citizen and workman ; but their chief end 
was to abolish the centralisation which had been the curse of 
France for so many years, and to convert the country into a loose 
federal State, a confederation of completely independent town 
republics, of which the commimes should form organic ceUs. 
Despotic, arbitrary, imintelligent and costly centralisation would 
thus be replaced by a free union of all local authorities, which 
should direct the independent operations of individual forces 
towards a common end — ^namely, the prosperity, liberty and 
security of all. A National Guard, composed of all citizens, was 
to take the place of the standing army, and public business was 
to be transacted by elected officials. It was, indeed, an exalted 
ideal, the direct negation of everything which had distinguished 
France for eight hundred years. She was no longer to be the 
Grande Nation, distingmshed by splendour and 6clat, a brilliant 
court and conquering army, but a democratic Switzerland, divided 
into cantons and conmiunes, the individual freedom of which 
was only limited by the necessities of combination for the purposes 
of existence. 

Supplemental elections, held on April i6th, added twenty-one 
members to the Council, and on April 20th, the date of the 
Testament, the executive was reorganised. Each of the nine 
special committees was replaced by a delegate, who acted as a 
Minister, and the nine delegates together formed what was 
practically a Ministry. On March 28th, after a parade at Fort 
dTssy, the majority carried by forty-five votes to twenty- 
three the appointment of a Committee of Public Safety, con- 
sisting of five members, such as had existed in the great 

The troops of the Commune offered a brave resistance to the 
army of Versailles, but MacMahon gradually made himself master 
of the outer works of defence, though each success served to 
stimulate the terror of the Communal government and urge it to 
fresh acts of violence and atrocity. The need of money was 



supplied by the confiscation of public and municipal revenues, 
obtained by requisitions upon the Bank of France, the Post Office, 
the railway and telegraph companies, and the rich merchants. 
The separation of Church and State was decreed, and the 
possessions of the Church were declared to be public property. 
On May 8th Thiers issued a proclamation calling upon Paris to 
free herself from the tyranny of the Commune and re-establish 
peace, order and prosperity. In answer to this, the property of 
Adolphe Thiers was declared to be confiscated, but the many 
treasures of art his house contained were, by friendly influence, 
safely deposited in the pubUc buildings. Other attempts at 
indiscriminate plimder were fortunately checked ; Beslay contrived 
to save a lai^e portion of property preserved in the Bank of 
France, and Jourde provided that the restoration of aU the 
property deposited in the Mont de Pi6t6, the State Pantechnicon, 
should be confined to the articles belonging to the poor of the 
value of less than 20 francs. 

The leaders of the Commune determined that if they fell Paris Commimiit 
should fall with them, and that the army of Versailles should Leadwt* 
only conquer its ruins. The Cri du Peuple, a newspaper founded J***"™*""*- 
by Blanqui and edited by Jules ViUer, said, on May 19th : " Our 
walls may fall, but no soldier shall enter Paris. If M. Thiers is 
a chemist, he will understand what we mean. The army of 
Versailles must imderstand that before Paris surrenders it will 
dare ever5^hing." As danger threatened, the General Council, 
the Committee of Public Safety, the Central Committee, and the 
National Guard, which had so long contended against each other, 
drew closer together, and a Scientific Committee was established 
to assist the Barricade Committee, to examine how far the 
destructive forces of science could be used in the service of the 

As MacMahon gradually became master of the bridge of ** Bloody 
Neuilly and other points in the neighbourhood of the fortifications, Week." 
the fever of resistance became more pronounced. On May i8th 
the column in the Place Venddme, which symbolised the victories 
of Napoleon, was pulled down. On May 21st the Paris troops 
advanced without fighting to the Point du Jour, and occupied 
the western districts. Fierce fighting continued for seven days, 
from May 21st to May 28th, the so-called '* Bloody Week." The 
army of Versailles gave no quarter, and the Commune was 
stimulated to reprisals. The hostages were put to death, among 
them Darboy, Archbishop of Paris ; Abb6 Allard ; President 
Bonjeau ; and the universally-respected Cur^ of the Madeleine, 




of the 

Duguerry. The principal buildings of Paris were drenched with 
petroleum, and either wholly or partially burnt, including the 
Tuileries, the Louvre, the Luxembourg, the Palais Royal, the 
Hdtel de Ville, the Ministry of Finance, and the Cour des 

The work of retaliation and repression was carried on with 
terrible severity. The city was gradually conquered from the 
Point du Jour to the P6re la Chaise, district by district, barricade 
by barricade. On May 31st Thiers proclaimed that the full 
penalty would be exacted and, in fact, no quarter was given. 
Men were put to death after a pretence of trial, or without any 
trial at all, by officers and soldiers. It was admitted at Versailles 
that 17,000 persons were killed ; as a fact, the number reached at 
least 20,000. Besides these, 38,568 persons were arrested, of 
whom 1,058 were women and 651 children ; and of the number 
arrested 1,179 died in consequence of bad treatment. The 
prisoners were tried by court-martial and condemned to death 
or penal servitude. The number of the condemned reached 
I3»450» of whom 2,710 were sentenced to death and 7,500 
to transportation. The court-martial continued to sit as late 
as 1876. The effect of these measures was to wipe out the 
Revolutionary and Socialist parties ; the only parties that 
remained were Monarchists and Republicans, the former being 
divided into Legitimists and Orleanists, since the cause of 
the war had destroyed all chance of a Bonapartist restora- 

By the elections which took place on May ist, the moderate 
Republicans obtained a majority. But the decrees of banish- 
ment against the Houses of Bourbon and Orleans were recalled, 
and the Due d'Aumale and the Prince de Joinville were actually 
elected to the Assembly. In October, Aranda was chosen Presi- 
dent of the General Council of the Oise, a very influential position. 
In the supplementary elections of July 28th the RepubUcans 
were successful in twenty-five out of thirty-nine Departments, 
and of twenty-one Deputies retiuned from Paris sixteen belonging 
to the Union of the Press, and the followers of Thiers, were elected. 
The fact that a loan was subscribed many times over showed 
the inexhaustible wealth of the country and the confidence with 
which it was regarded by foreign nations. The war indemnity 
could now be paid and the evacuation of the country by the army 
of occupation sectired. A proclamation of the Comte de Cham- 
bord in favour of the white flag weakened the Legitimists and 
strengthened the hands of the Republic, and gave Thiers the 



support of all sensible and practical people. On August 21st 
an enactment was passed, by 491 votes to 94, providing that the 
head of the executive should take the title of President of the 
French RepubUc, that he should have the power of appointing 
and dismissing his Ministers, and the right to address the 
Assembly whenever he pleased ; but that the individual Minis- 
ters, the Cabinet as a whole, and the President himself should 
be responsible to the Assembly. This meant the formation 
of a moderate Republic, equally opposed to Monarchy and 
to advanced RepubUcanism. This was a provisional constitu- 
tion ; the final and definite constitution was not formed till 


During the very height of these disturbances the Peace of PMoe 

Frankfort was signed on May loth by Bismarck on behalf of ■*<■•*• 

Germany and by Jules Favre and Pouyer-Quertier on behalf of 

France. The arrangements with r^ard to the pa}anent of the 

indemnity of five milliards and the tracing of the frontier between 

Belfort and Thionville received the approval of the German 

Emperor and the French Assembly. The final closing of the war 

was received with the greatest joy, not only in Germany itself, 

but in all parts of the world inhabited by Germans. A South 

German paper wrote : *' The dove of peace which was sent out from 

the German Ark has at length returned with a fresh olive branch. 

The sound of the cannon and the tocsin no longer summon us to 

the murderous field of battle ; they have become heralds of peace. 

The flood of war has overwhelmed many of our dear ones, but 

our land and people stand as if refreshed with morning dew, ready 

for the work of our hands and for the seed-time of culture. The 

general feeling of the great majority of our people is thanks and 

praise to God that, together with peace abroad and at home, we 

have laid the foimdations of a strong Fatherland and of civic 

freedom. We know that in this battle of giants our people 

have won spurs of honourable knighthood, an equality of nmk 

with the first nations of the world. But this exdted rank 

lays heavy duties upon us. Let us first think of our duties 

towards the dead, who fell in this holy war upon the field of 


The first German Reichstag, or Parliament, met in Berlin on tim nut 

March 21st, 1871, containing representatives from every part of 

Germany, both north and south of the Main. Their first duty 

was to consider how the government of Alsace and Lorraine could 

best be carried out, and then to take care of those wounded and 

invaUded in the war and the famiUes of the dead. A sum of 



12,000,000 marks was voted as a present to the generals and 
statesmen who had contributed in a conspicuous manner to the 
successes of their country, and a similar sum to the governments 
of the separate States as assistance to the support of the reservists 
and others who were Uable to miUtary service. 




The British Parliament elected in 1865 was dissolved by pro- eiaditona'i 
clamation in November, 1868. The question before the country *••• 
was the disestabUshment and disendowment of the Irish Church. *^*"* 
Although Gladstone himself was defeated in Lancashire, the 
voting was favourable to the Liberal Party, the Liberals being 
returned with an overwhelming majority. This was a surprise 
to the Conservatives, just as the election of 1874, which closed 
Gladstone's Ministry, was a still greater surprise to the Liberals. 
On December 2nd Disraeli sent a letter to his supporters in both 
Houses of Parliament, announcing his intention of resigning before 
Parliament met. The Queen at once sent for Gladstone, and he 
had no difficulty in forming a Government. Lowe became Chan- 
cellor of the Exchequer ; Childers, First Lord of the Admiralty ; 
Goschen, President of the Poor Law Board ; Bright, President of 
the Board of Trade. The seals of the Foreign Office were given 
to Lord Clarendon, those of the Colonial Office to Lord GranviDe, 
of the War Office to Cardwell, of the India Office to the Duke of 
ArgylL Lord Justice Page Wood, a man of the highest character, 
which shone conspicuously on his spiritual face, became Lord 
Chancellor, with the title of Lord Hatherley. Although a strong 
Churchman and a man of deep piety, he had no objection to the 
disestablishment of the Irish Church. 

Parliament met on December loth, but the Queen's Speech DitetUbUih- 
was not deUvered imtil February i6th, 1869. The Queen did »«»* of 
not open Parliament in person, and therefore was not compelled J?^. 
to read a speech which announced l^slation on the ecclesiastical 
affairs of Ireland and heralded a measwe to which she had pre- 
viously been strongly opposed. The Irish Church Bill was brought 
forward on March ist. It provided that from and after January 
ist, 1 871, the Church of Ireland was to be entirely disconnected 
from the State, and that its government was to be entrusted to a 
body in the composition of which the clergy and laity of the 




Church should be agreed, and that this body should be incor- 
porated by law. For the purpose of disendowment the property 
of the Church was to be vested in commissioners appointed by 
Parliament for ten years, private endowments given to the 
Church of Ireland after 1660 being excepted. The fabrics of 
churches and parsonages were to be handed over to the governing 
body already mentioned. Full compensation was given to all 
vested interests. The State was no longer to subsidise either 
the Catholic Church through the grant to Maynooth CoU^e, 
or the Presbyterians through the Regium Donum ; but com- 
pensation for the loss of these sums was to be made from the 
funds of the disestablished Church. Gladstone estimated the 
whole value of the existing endowments at £16,000,000. Of this 
sum £8,500,000 were to be given back to the Church under its 
new constitution, and the remaining £7,500,000 were to form a 
compensation fimd for the relief of unavoidable calamity and 
suffering not met by the existing poor law. 
The Lordi There was little opposition in the Commons to a measure of 

MiLubUih. ^^^^ *^® country had expressed its approval : the Bill was read 
ment " ^ second time before Easter by a majority of 118, and the third 

reading was passed by a majority of 114 on Jime ist. But the 
Bill had to pass the ordeal of the House of Lords, where the 
decisive struggle had to take place. It was determined to contest 
the second reading in the Upper House. Although the Queen 
was strongly opposed to the measure, she did not desire to see a 
violent conflict between the two Houses, and wrote to the Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury to remind him that the Bill had been carried 
by an overwhelming majority through the House of Commons, 
which had been specially elected to express the feeling of the 
coimtry in the matter, and that it was not likely that a fresh 
election would have a different result. Eventually, after a debate 
of four nights, at 3 o'clock in the morning on Jime 19th, the 
second reading of the Bill was carried by 179 votes to 146. By 
this wise resolve, preferring the welfare of the country to its own 
predilections, and the will of the nation to its own private 
opinions, the House of Lords voted in a manner worthy of its 
best traditions. It should have been evident to the peers that 
by such behaviour alone could the continued existence of a 
hereditary chamber be preserved. But having gone so far, they 
were not prepared to go farther, and so altered the Bill in 
Committee that the Irish Church remained in possession of 
£13,000,000 instead of £8,500,000, while other important changes 
were also made. 



Gladstone refused to accept these amendments, and the Bill * BuMtuM 
was returned to the Lords much in the same state as that in which ^™P'«»*«** 
it had been first introduced in the Commons. There was a dead- 
lock ; but the spirit of poUtical wisdom and compromise which 
has permeated the history of the United Kingdom for so many 
years, and made it a modd of instruction for the world, once more 
prevailed. On July 21st a meeting was held at the Colonial Office 
attended by Lord Granville, Lord Cairns, and the Archbishop of 
Canterbury, and when the peers met on the following day they 
found the matter had been arranged. The compensation offered 
had been slightly increased, and the application of the surplus 
was left to the decision of Parliament. 

There can be no doubt but that the disestablishment of the 
Irish Church has been a success, and justified the prevision of 
those who carried it. Under its new conditions the Church has 
been, if more clerical, more prosperous than it was before, and 
the Church of England has been rather strengthened than 
weakened by its severance from a sister whose indefensible position 
was the cause of constant irritation. 

The budget had been introduced on April 8th. The financial Bdncatloii 
condition of the country was not very favourable, as the *•'•'■'• 
Abyssinian expedition had cost £9,000,000. Robert Lowe framed 
his measure with wonted cleverness and ingenuity, but roused, 
after his manner, a great deal of unnecessary opposition ; yet 
the budget was eventually found not to be so eccentric as it 
appeared at first sight, and was passed quietly into law. The 
year 1869 also witnessed a measure which was a first step towards 
the organisation of secondary education, but which has not been 
much developed since. Probably the only sound policy is to 
abolish the distinction of secondary education altogether, and 
leave but two classes, elementary and superior — the education 
of the common school and the education of the University, just 
as changes have abolished the second class on most British 
railways and left first and third classes to fight it out side by 

But the great triumph of Liberalism imder Gladstone's Govern- 
ment was secured in 1870 — a year of far other memones on the 
Continent — ^by the passing of a Land Act for Ireland and an 
Education Act for England. The first was a step towards Home 
Rule as the only remedy for Irish difficulties, and the second 
has more profoundly modified the whole condition of England, 
intellectually and socially, than any other measure ever passed 
by Parliament. 



Irlsk Land An Irish Land Bill, which had been discussed in the Cabinet 

Bill, 1870« during the autumn of 1869, was introduced into the House of 

Commons on February 15th, 1870. It recognised that the Irish 
farmer had an estate in his holding, and extended to the whole 
of Ireland and gave the sanction of law to the Ulster custom of 
tenant right. It gave compensation to tenants who were turned 
out of their holdings for any other cause than the failiu'e to pay 
their rents, and provided that they should receive the value of 
their unexhausted improvements. Hitherto all that had been 
done by the tenant for the soil in the absence of the landlord led 
merely to the raising of his rent, a grievance which did not 
practically exist in England and was peculiar to Ireland alone. 
It also made it easier for those who held the soil to become the 
possessors of it. Before this an enterprising tenant might turn 
a barren desert into a fniitful farm, and for his trouble and enter- 
prise would have to pay a higher rent for the land, the value of 
which he had largely increased, or be turned out of his holding 
without receiving any pecuniary advantage for what he had done. 
This now became impossible. The burden of showing that he had 
made the improvements was laid upon the landlord, otherwise 
it would be presumed that they had been made by the tenant. 
Contracting out of this arrangement was illegal for all whose rent 
was under ;^50 a year. On the other hand, the landlord could 
avoid all claims to compensation by granting a lease for thirty- 
one years. 
Coepdon lot The principle of the Bill met with little opposition in either 
FoUovi House. In the House of Commons only eleven members voted 
Land let. against the second reading, and in the House of Lords the Bill 

passed that stage without a division. It was more difficult to 
get it through Committee. Some amendments were made in the 
Upper House, but were not accepted by the Government, and 
the Act eventually passed much in its original form. The Land 
Act of 1870 was a step in advance in the settlement of Irish 
grievances ; it checked arbitrary eviction, and recognised the 
principle that the tenant was part owner of the soil. But the 
fact that it was not a complete remedy for the evil which it 
attempted to remove was shown by the passing of a Coercion Act 
for Ireland. This Act declared the use of firearms to be illegal in 
proclaimed districts, allowed dwelling-houses to be searched for 
arms, or for evidence of the authorship of threatening letters, and 
the arrest on suspicion of persons wandering about at night. It 
also provided that agrarian murder might be punished by the 
levying of compensation on the district in which it occurred, for 




the seizure of intimidating newspapers, and for a change of the 
place where offences were tried. On the other hand, the Fenians 
in prison were released on condition that they left the country, 
a limitation of very doubtful wisdom. 

The Education Act of 1870 is a landmark in English history. Fontor's 
Its effect went far beyond the expectations of those who carried ^■•** 
it. The passing of it was mainly due to the statesmanship and J^ 
foresight of William Edward Forster, and it will always be 
associated with his name. Forster announced that the object 
of the Bill was to cover the country with good schools. The 
existing schools, called Voluntary because they were partly main- 
tained by volimtary subscription, belonged to religious bodies, 
such as the Church of England, the Roman Catholics, the 
Wesleyans, and the Jews. They received grants from the State 
if they satisfied the requirements of the inspectors of the 
Education Department, but were greatly deficient in number 
for the needs of the population, and this deficiency it was the 
object of the new Act to remedy. 

To effect this, England and Wales were divided into school School 
districts, generally conterminous with the borough and the parish. S^J^Mtah^d. 
If it were found that sufficient accommodation was not suppUed 
in these districts for children between the ages of five and thirteen, 
and if after six months the need was not met by voluntary efforts, 
a School Board was to be established with power to levy a rate. 
Unfortimately, in England, all educational legislation has been 
made a battleground for conflicting sects. It may be doubted 
whether EngUshmen care for education at all in the sense in 
which it is cared for by Germans and Swiss. Englishmen are so 
gifted naturally, and are able to do so much by their own inteUi- 
gence, that they distrust and even despise the routine which their 
foreign rivals impose upon themselves. It is said that Germans 
always b^in at the beginning. Englishmen in the middle ; that 
Germans will never take the second step till they have taken the 
first, but that Englishmen always prefer to break the line of 
ignorance. Consequently it was impossible to carry compulsory 
education at that time, although it has since been recognised that 
such a condition is absolutely necessary for the creation of an 
educated population. Forster left the question of religious train- 
ing to the direction of the local authority, which might have any 
religion taught or no religion taught at all, as it pleased. 

The Bill was strongly opposed by the Birmingham Education 
League, which, in that fortress of Radicalism, supported free, 
compulsory, and secular education, with School Boards everywhere 







and no Voluntary schools. Gladstone intervened, however, as a 
mediator, and the Bill passed its second reading. Three months 
were allowed to elapse between the second reading and the 
Committee stage, during which time there was a great deal of 
private discussion. On June i6th, an amendment was accepted 
by the Government, proposed by Cowper-Temple, who was an 
English Churchman and a Whig. It provided that no Catholic 
or distinctive religious formulary should be taught in a Board 
school, and that a Volimtary school should receive no assistance 
from the rates. This clause has been famous ever since, and the 
author of it has given his name to a form of religious teaching 
which is moral and edifying, but which is not conveyed by any 
special religious formulary. The amendment also contained a 
clause which relieved voluntary subscribers in respect of their 
contributions, and was favourable to the Church of England 
This facilitated the passing of the Bill, and the Cowper-Temple 
clause was carried by 252 votes to 95. What was called a 
" Conscience Clause " also provided that religion should be taught 
either at the beginning or the end of the school day, so that those 
might absent themselves who wished to do so. A single School 
Board was established for the whole of London, and this great 
measure finally became law on August 9th. 

In the days of Gladstone retrenchment was a watchword of 
the Liberal Party, and the Prime Minister did his best to make it 
effective. The Navy Estimates in 1870 were the lowest since 
1858, and the Army Estimates had been reduced by more than 
£2,000,000 since 1868. This economy was mainly brought about 
by the withdrawing of British troops from self-governing colonies. 
In this year the Canadian Rifles, the Cape Mounted Rifles, and 
the West India Regiment were disbanded. These reductions of 
expenses produced a surplus of more than £4,000,000, which was 
spent in reducing the income tax to 4d. in the poimd, lowering 
the duty on sugar by 50 per cent., abolishing the remaining burden 
on newspapers and on railway passengers, and in the institution of 
halfpenny postcards, which the Prime Minister used very largely 
in his private correspondence. 

Another triumph of the Liberal Government in 1870 was the 
reformation of the army by Cardwell, who was Minister of War. 
When he assumed office the army was under the dual control of 
the War Office and the Horse Guards. The Commander-in-Chief, 
who sat at the Horse Guards, and was appointed by letters 
patent for life, dispensed patronage and exercised power without 
consulting the War Minister, who was responsible to the House 



of Commons. This was a survival of the time when the army 
was supposed to be under the personal control of the Sovereign. 
Cardwell saw that it was necessary that the War Office should 
be under a single head. The first step was made by removing the 
Commander-in-Chief from the Horse Guards to the War Office, 
which was done by an exercise of the Royal prerogative, but 
against the private wishes of the Queen. He then proceeded to 
alter the terms of service for which a soldier enUsted, and to 
establish a reserve. Before 1847 ^ ^^^^^^^ enlisted for life or for 
twenty-one years ; in 1847 enlistment for ten years was aUowed, 
against the opinion of the Duke of Wellington. Now, in 1870, 
twelve years was fixed as the longest and three years as the 
shortest period for which a man might enlist ; and it was calcu- 
lated that in ordinary circumstances six years would be spent in 
active service and six in the reserve. This reconstruction of the 
army was due to the victory of the Prussians over the Austrians 
at Koniggratz. The success of the Prussian army, which before 
the war had been regarded by competent military observers as 
little better than an exalted militia, had shown that a soldier 
serving only two or three years with the colours could become the 
most formidable combatant in Europe. It is noteworthy that a 
reform originating out of the war of 1866 should have been 
consummated on the verge of the still greater conflict of 1870. 

This era of reform beheld a great change also in the appoint- CiTil 
ments of the Civil Service. By an Order in Council, dated June ^•'^ 
7th, 1870, all pubUc offices in the State, excepting the Foreign 
Office and the Education Office, were thrown open to competition, 
a change which had been advocated for nearly twenty years by 
Sir Charles Trevelyan and Sir Stafford Northcote. Hitherto all 
appointments had been made by private patronage, the exercise 
of which was a great burden on those to whom it belonged, and a 
very inefficient method of choosing public seivants. The change 
has, no doubt, been beneficial ; but it has had the result of limit- 
ing the ambitions of the ablest men the Universities produce and 
driving them to prefer a modest certainty to an honourable 
struggle, besides filling the public offices with men who are too 
able for the work they have to do, and are apt, therefore, to 
display more ingenuity in contrivance than common sense in 
everyday administration. On the whole, however, the change 
has been advantageous, and the country has gained by the 
application to the whole Civil Service of the principles which 
have made the Civil Service of India the most efficient, the most 
intelligent and the purest bureaucracy in the world, 
r 257 


Jl The session of 1870 was indeed memorable, and in recalling 

22**^** its achievements, Mr. Herbert Paul says : ** Between February 
^"^ 8th and August loth Parliament took the first step, the step 
which counts, in remodelling the agrarian law of Ireland, estab- 
lished a permanent system of education in England and Wales, 
introduced into the army the principle of a short enlistment and 
a reserve, formed a code of neutrality in time of war, erected a 
scientific theory of naturalisation, provided for the extradition 
of criminals, and abolished the punishment of the innocent with 
the guilty by the forfeiture of the felon's estate : of an activity 
so various and so successful, scarcely an example can be found 
since the da}rs of the Great Parhament, which assembled in 
1640 after eleven years of barren personal rule. Although 
Mr. Gladstone and his colleagues, especially Mr. Cardwell and Mr. 
Forster, were the principal agents in producing this splendid 
result, the entire credit does not belong to them. It was shared 
by their followers, by the Conservative Party, and by the House 
of Commons as a whole." 
PorehAteiii This record of reforms was increased in the following year by 
the irmy the abolition of the purchase of commissions in the army. To us, 
AboUihed* jjjjegj^ ^ seems almost incredible that such a system could ever 
have had a vogue. The sale of commissions which had originally 
existed had been regulated by Royal Warrant in the reign of 
Charles II. The system was abolished by William III., but was 
resumed after his death. Although prices were fixed by states- 
men, sums largely in excess of the legal amoimt were given and 
received, and, in 1871, both regulation prices, which were legal, 
and over-regulation prices, which were not only illegal but 
criminal, were charged as a matter of course. An Act of George 
III. abolished the selling of offices in other departments, but 
gave to the Crown the (Uscretion of retaining the practice in the 
army if it should think fit, and this discretion had been regulated 
by a warrant sanctioning and regulating the practice. It became 
apparent that no effective reorganisation of the army was possible 
without the abolition of this practice. As Gladstone said, the 
nation must buy back its own army from its own officers. 
Purchase, indeed, was unknown at any time in the Navy, the 
Engineers and the Royal Artillery. In the army it did not 
extend beyond the rank of lieutenant-colonel. 

This reform had been taken up as a special question by 
George Otto Trevelyan, the son of Sir Charles Trevelyan, who had 
reformed the Civil Service. As compensation must be voted to 
those who lost money by the change, a Bill was introduced into 



the House of Commons, where it met with the most violent 
opposition. Having passed the Commons with great difficulty, 
the Bill went to the Lords in the beginning of July, and again 
encountered the most determined hostility. A dilatory motion 
proposed by the Duke of Richmond was supported by Lord 
Salisbury, who said that " seniority tempered by selection meant 
stagnation tempered by jobbery." The motion was carried by 
155 votes to 130. The Prime Minister now found himself face to 
face with the House of Lords — ^not for the first time. So the 
Cabinet determined on drastic action. As purchase had been 
originally established by Royal Warrant, it could be abolished by 
Royal Warrant. On July i8th, therefore, the Queen signed such 
a warrant, abolishing purchase in the army from November ist, 
1871. She made no difficulty about it after she had received a 
minute from the Cabinet intimating their unanimous approval. 
By the abohtion of purchase the efficiency of regimental officers 
was greatly improved. 

Another important step in army reform was the division of FwUmp 
the country into territorial districts, each of which contained a *""y 
battaUon of the line, two regiments of mihtia, and the volunteers *"■"• 
of the district, all under the command of a lieutenant-colonel. A 
system of what were called linked battalions was also introduced, 
by which half a regiment was maintained at home and half abroad, 
the officers and men being interchangeable. 

In the same year religious tests for degrees were abolished. AboUttoa of 
It is difficult for anyone not intimately acquainted with the S^*?^ 
conditions of University Ufe to understand what injustice was uniYenitiet. 
imposed by the existence of these tests. Dissenters might gain 
the highest honours of the Universities, but could not take degrees 
unless they were prepared to sign the Thirty-nine Articles. But 
when this disability was removed others still remained. In many 
coU^es fellowships could not be held unless the holders were 
prepared to take holy orders after a certain number of years, and 
a large number of the highest posts were reserved for clergymen. 
A community in which academical distinction ought to be the 
determining consideration in promotion was mainly a clerical 
body. The result of this was profound. The taking of orders 
was, with the less serious-minded men, regarded with levity, and 
even with blasphemy, and the more serious were hindered from 
taking orders at all. In some cases they resigned their fellow- 
ships and embraced a life of poverty ; in others, by refusing to 
serve the Church, they lowered the intellectual standard of the 
ministry. It was long before Gladstone could bring himself to 



see the essential justice of the reform. But he did so by 1871, 
and the Abolition Act of this year served not only to make the 
Universities national institutions, but gave renewed strength and 
vigour to the Church itself. 
Love's The harmonious march of reform was interrupted by the 

■ateh Tax. eccentricity of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Robert Lowe. 

In the budget of 1871 he had to provide for an extra charge of 
£3,000,000, caused by the greater expense of the army and the 
abolition of purchase. The easiest mode of doing this would 
have been to raise the income tax to 6d., but the Chancellor 
preferred more tortuous methods, and among them the imposi- 
tion of a tax on lucifer matches, a halfpenny a box for wood and 
a penny for wax. A good classical scholar, he proposed to mark 
the stamp by which the tax was imposed by a Latin motto, '* Ex 
luce luceUum " (" A little gain from Ught "), a frivolous proceed- 
ing which tended to make the new tax ridiculous as well as 
odious in the eyes of those who had no sense of humour. A 
storm of indignation arose, a procession of match-makers march- 
ing by way of protest from the East End to Westminster. The 
tax was withdrawn and the income tax was raised. 
LofAllMttioii Another important indication that a new era had dawned was 
rf-^!^* found in the Act for the legalisation of trade imions, which gave 
effect to the report of the Royal Commission appointed to examine 
the subject which was published in 1869. The most prominent 
advocates for new methods in dealing with this question were 
Frederic Harrison and Thomas Hughes. Bruce, the Home 
Secretary, brought in a Bill to amend the law. By it trade 
unions were declared to be neither criminal conspiracies subject 
to prosecution, nor iUegal combinations incapable of prosecuting 
those who defrauded them. They were to be registered in such 
a way as to allow them to bring dishonest officers to justice, and, 
on the other hand, were not to be saddled with the legal liabilities 
which attach to corporations. The Bill should have stopped 
there, but unfortunately it attempted to deal with the practice 
of picketing. It went so far as to make peaceful picketing 
impossible ; as Mr. Sidney Webb said, in its eyes a strike was 
lawful, but anything done in pursuance of a strike was criminal. 
The picketing clauses were made into a separate Bill, and the 
measures passed the House of Commons without difficulty. They 
finally became law after the Lords had very seriously increased 
the severity of the picketing clauses. A similar solicitude for the 
working members of the population was shown in the institution 
of Baidc HoUdays, by the closing of banks on Easter Monday, 




Whit Monday, and the day after Christmas, generally known as 
Boxing Day. The fourth Bank Holiday, the first Monday in 
August, was not instituted until later. The closing of banks led 
to the closing of shops and to a general national holiday. The 
author of this excellent measure was Sir John Lubbock, banker, 
philanthropist, and distinguished man of science, who afterwards 
bore the title of Lord Avebury, 

This beneficent legislation, which leaves a white mark in the GladitoM 
pages of British history, did not tend to make the Ministry ** ^v^^w 
popular ; and on October 28th, Gladstone, who was member for 
Greenwich, addressed an audience of 20,000 persons on Black- 
heath. This audience was not friendly, as it contained many 
who had been discharged from the Woolwich dockyards. Lord 
Morley has described how, in the cold mist of the October after- 
noon, Gladstone stood bareheaded, pale and resolute before a 
surging mass, few of them friends, many of them furious at neglect 
or discharge by an economising Government. At first he could 
hardly make himself heard, but after half an hour of interruptions 
he prevailed. The speech lasted two hours, and at the end he 
had deserved and won applause. 

But his office was not a bed of roses. It is difficult to oiaditoM't 
maintain the spirit of a nation at the level of that of a great WiiicwltlM 
Minister in a great Cabinet. The Court was also a subject of 
anxiety ; the Queen Uved in retirement, and there was a breath 
of Republicanism in the air. Public opinion did not imderstand 
the crushing work which the administration of a great Empire 
implies, nor realise that the necessary occupations of the head 
of the State left Uttle time for pubhc functions or for society. Sir 
Charles Dilke, member for Chelsea, having professed Republican 
sentiments, the Queen good-naturedly remarked that she had 
stroked his hair when he was a boy, and supposed she had not 
stroked it the right way. Gladstone did all he could to induce 
the Queen to spend less time at Balmoral, but she did not like 
him, and complained that he addressed her as if she were a public 
meeting. The sympathy and sentiment of the nation, however, 
were aroused by the serious illness of the Prince of Wales in 
December, 1871, and the public thanksgiving for his recovery 
which followed early in the next year. But a difficult situation 
continued, and the deep veneration which was felt for the Mother 
Sovereign in every part of her dominions was not generally realised 
until the outbreak of sorrow which followed her death and made 
her funeral memorable. 

There can be little doubt but that the unexpected fall of the 









Gladstone Ministry in 1874 was mainly due to its best and most 
memorable act — ^the treaty of arbitration with America with 
regard to the Alabama claims. On February ist, 1871, the two 
Governments agreed that a Joint Commission should be appointed 
to discuss the questions pending between the two countries. The 
British commissioners acted in a very friendly spirit, expressed 
their regret for the escape and depredations of the Alabama, 
and abandoned all claims for indemnification for the Fenian 
raids into Canada, and in consequence of this the treaty was 
ratified before the end of May. The five arbitrators, appointed 
by Great Britain and America, by the King of Italy, the Presi- 
dent of the Swiss Republic, and the Emperor of Brazil, met at 

The American case was published in January, 1872. It was 
found, to the dismay of all lovers of peace, that it contained a 
demand not only for the payment of direct claims, but of indirect 
claims of a vague and shadowy nature, which, if admitted, might 
exceed the whole amoimt of the National Debt. The storm 
aroused by these preposterous claims nearly wrecked the treaty ; 
but, through the moderation of Lord Ripon and W. E. Forster, 
the decision whether they were valid was left to the arbitrators. 
Charles Francis Adams proposed that the court should declare the 
indirect claims to be outside the scope of International Law. This 
was agreed to, and the news that the treaty was saved reached 
the British Cabinet on July 19th. 

The hearing of the case began at Geneva in the beginning of 
July, and the finding was issued in the middle of September. The 
damages were estimated by America at ;C9,5oo,ooo, and the 
amoimt actually paid was ;f3,25o,ooo, which the Americans found 
great difficulty in distributing among the persons supposed to 
have been injured. The amoimt awarded was excessive, and 
could not be supported by legal argument. But the matter had 
passed out of the domain of law into that of poUtics, and it was 
worth while to make even a large payment to settle a disastrous 
quarrel between two peoples who ought to Uve together in peace 
and amity, and to offer to the world an example of the manner 
in which such differences should be arranged. But these doctrines 
were beyond the appreciation of public feeling in England. A 
sullen discontent against the award was aroused in the country, 
and it was made worse by the decisi(Hi of the German Emperor, 
which was adverse to Great Britain, in the matter of the San 
Juan dispute. Even if this decision were right, however, anyone 
acquainted with pubUc feeling at Berlin at this time must admit 



that the Americans were much more popular than the British, 
owing to the severe neutrality of Great Britain in the Franco- 
Prussian War, and could have predicted the result of the arbitration 
before it was declared. 

During the session of 1872 the Government steadily lost TIm BaIM 
groimd, partly from the reasons we have mentioned, partly from *•*• 
discontent at smaller matters, such as the appointment of Sir 
Robert Collier to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, 
and of Mr. Harvey to the Rectory of Ewelme. Disraeli said at 
Manchester : " As I sit opposite the Treasury bench, the Ministers 
remind me of one of those marine landscapes, not very unusual 
on the coasts of South America. You behold a range of 
exhausted volcanoes; not a flame flickers upon a single pallid 
crest, but the situation is still dangerous. There are occasional 
earthquakes, and ever and anon the dark rumblings of the sea." 
One of these earthquakes was the Ballot Act, which, promised in 
the Queen's Speech of 1870, was rejected by the Lords in 1871, 
and finally passed in 1872. Although in some particulars it was 
not consistent with sound political theory, and with the highest 
standard of political morality, which demands that an elector 
shall not be ashamed to deckure his opinions in public, the Ballot 
Act has been a success and strengthened the parliamentary 
system. No one would now propose to abolish it. 

The Government eventually fell on the question of Irish ttUditoiM*i 
University Education. On his entry upon oflSce in 1868 HJ^^^x^ 
Gladstone had determined to devote himself to the removal of m^HH!^ 
Irish discontent. He had disestablished the Irish Church, 
reformed the land laws, and now intended to deal with the 
problem of higher education. The granting of Home Rule, which 
was part of the same scheme, was to come at a later period. The 
University of Dublin, which was really the same as Trinity 
College, had opened its doors to Catholics as early as 1794. A 
few attended, but all places of honour and emolument were 
reserved for members of the Irish Church, which had been dis- 
established in 1869. Mr. Gladstone's BiU, which attempted the 
solution of the difficulty, was introduced on February 13th, 1873. 
It proposed to establish a new University of Dublin, which was 
to be a teaching as well as an examining body. It was to include 
Trinity College, the Cathohc University of Dublin, and the 
Queen's Colleges of Cork and Belfast, which were unsectarian. 
The money for its endowment was to be foimd by Trinity College, 
the Consohdated Fund, and the Irish Church surplus, and was 
to amount to ^£50,000 a year. But to these arrangements, which 


were not very wise or statesmanlike, two were added wbich made 
it impossible that the Bill should pass. By one of these any 
teacher might be dismissed who, in speech or writing, wilfully 
gave offence to the religious opinions of any member, and by the 
other the University was to have no chairs of theology, modem 
history, or of moral and mental philosophy. The colleges of 
which the University was composed might, indeed, teach these 
subjects, but they would not be taught authoritatively by the 
leJeelloB Mr. Gladstone's speech in introducing these measures was so 

^ *^ persuasive that it was thought on all hands that the Bill was 
^ju^ ^ sure to pass. It was wrecked, however, by the opposition of 
Cardinal CuUen, the head of the Catholic hierarchy of Ireland. 
The Cardinal said that the Bill was in flat opposition to what 
the Catholics had been working for in Ireland for years. It 
continued the Queen's Colleges and set up another Queen's College 
in the shape of Trinity Collie with a large endowment ; it 
perpetuated the mixed system of education to which he had 
always been opposed, while no endowment or assistance was 
given to the Catholic University ; the Council could appoint 
professors to teach English literature, geology or zoology who 
might be dangerous men in Catholic eyes. The Bill was rejected 
by 287 votes to 384, its principal opponents being Fawcett, 
Patrick Smyth, Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice and Disraeli. 
MvMli After this division Gladstone was of opinion that the Cabinet 

ought to resign, and as they agreed with him he went to the 
Queen for that piupose. The Queen, of course, sent for Disraeli ; 
but he was unwQling either to accept office in the present ParUa- 
ment or summon a new one. Thus, a week after their defeat, the 
Liberal Cabinet determined to remain where they were, although 
nothing could be worse for the coimtry than the continuation in 
power of a weak and discredited Ministry. Even in this condi- 
tion they were able to pass the Judicature Bill, which was due 
to the genius and industry of Lord Selbome. His plan was to 
imite all the superior courts in one Supreme Court of Judicature 
and give to every court the power of administering equity. The 
Courts of Chancery, Queen's Bench, Common Pleas and Exchequer 
remained as divisions of the High Court, but the judges of one 
division had power to sit in any other. He also established a 
Court of Appeal, consisting of nine judges and sitting in three 
divisions, whose decision should be final. 

In July, in consequence of some irregularity in the public 
accounts, the details of which need not detain us^ the Cabinet 



was remodelled, and Gladstone became Chancellor of the Ex- 
chequer as well as Prime Minister. 

It was natm'al that Gladstone, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, ouditoM 
should desire to construct a great budget and carry out ideas !>•««•■ «w 
which had long been in his mind, but which he had not been able ^^^■■•^•**^»' 
to bring to maturity. He proposed to abolish the income tax 
and the duty on sugar, and make up part of the deficit by raising 
the succession duties and the duty on spirits. He could not, 
however, obtain all the money he required unless he could reduce 
the Estimates for the army and navy. To this Cardwell and 
Goschen strongly objected, and Cardwell said that he could only 
give way if the country sanctioned the new pohcy. This con- 
firmed the Prime Minister in his determination to dissolve, a step 
he had, for other reasons, long contemplated. He felt it was 
intolerable to carry on a Government unless not only the House 
of Commons but the country was firmly on his side. This was 
not the case, for, since 1872, the Opposition had won twenty 
seats, and the latest contest, at Stroud, proved unfavourable. It 
was understood that Parliament was to meet on February 8th, 
and members of Parliament, and even members of the Govern- 
ment, were taking a comfortable holiday. 

Suddenly, on January 24th, 1874, Gladstone's address to his Liberal 
constituency appeared in the morning papers, and the world knew d^'m^ 
that a dissolution was imminent. The result of the election was 
a great surprise, both at home and abroad, but it was decisive. 
Gladstone had been informed by Lord Wolverton, the chief whip, 
that he was sure of an increased majority, and the Diplomatic 
Body had informed their Governments that the Liberals were 
sure to win. The Conservative majority was fifty, exclusive of 
the Irish Home Rulers, who held aloof from both parties. Glad- 
stone, following what he believed to be the proper constitutional 
usage, was reluctant to leave office without meeting ParUament, 
but yielded to the advice of his colleagues, and on February 17th 
this memorable Government ceased to exist. It perished because 
it was too good for the age and the circumstances with which it 
had to deal ; but the spirit of human actions, even when they 
fail, often lives after their seeming decease, and leads to greater 
successes than their premature triumph might have achieved. 



Ruuu JLVD TBI Sir 

The policies pursued towards Europe by the Emperor Nicholas 
y * ^^'^ ^ of Russia and his son Alexander II. were very di£Ferent. The 

former attempted by aggressive means to raise Russia to a 
position of supremacy ; the latter endeavoured by a course of 
important internal reforms to elevate his country to an equality 
with other civilised peoples, and emulate the exampb of Peter 
the Great by bringing his empire into close connection with the 
rest of Europe. The first of such measures was the Uberation of 
the serfs, which, whatever inconveniences it may have brought 
with it, was absolutely necessary if Russia were to fall into line 
with European civilisation. The second was the introduction 
of imiversal military service for fifteen years, which served, as it 
has served in Germany, to elevate the intelligence of the nation 
and form the basis of a national education. Other steps were 
the extension of the railway system, both for industrial and 
military purposes ; reform of the taxes, by which the privilege of 
exemption was taken away from the nobles and approach made 
towards establishing equaUty of rank ; reform of law and justice ; 
encouragement of commerce and industry ; and the improvement 
of education and culture. 
TImBpumIs Alexander also contemplated, what his successor Nicholas II. 

brought to being, the extinction, or at least the diminution, of 
war, by the general adoption of principles of International Law. 
For this purpose a congress, held at Brussels in 1874, laid the 
foundations of an improved international code for the conduct of 
wars. These efforts to reduce armaments and mitigate the evils 
of war do not produce immediate effect and are often misunder- 
stood. They are attributed to a crafty device to induce Powers 
to deprive themselves of the means of defence in order that they 
may fall an easier prey to their neighbours. But the seed, once 
sown, b^;ins to grow, and the bread is cast upon the waters, 
although someone else may find it after many days. 

Alexander pursued a similar magnanimous poUcy in his 
relations with the East. The friendship formed with Turkey 
by the assistance of the Grand Vizir, Mahmoud Pasha, was not 



interrupted by the sudden faU of this Minister ; indeed, in the 
difficult question in regard to the Bulgarian Patriarchate, which 
arose shortly afterwards, both Powers adopted a similar policy. 
The Bulgarians were the most active and most promising branch 
of the southern Slavs. They are more solid, more laborious, and 
more trustworthy than the Servians. 

It is difficult to unravel the intricacies of the origin of the PwUtoa «f 
races inhabiting the Balkan Peninsula. The history of any one •■ifw**. 
of these peoples written by any other is too much infected by 
racial jealousy to be trustworthy. The Servians maintain that 
the Bulgarians are not Slavs at all, but a Mongol race who have 
adopted the Slavic language and customs ; the Bulgarians declare 
that they are Slavs who were conquered by Mongols, and received 
their name and a certain tinge of their language. However this 
may be, those who have most carefuUy studied the situation are 
of opinion that, if Constantinople is to be held by any of the 
Balkan races, the Bulgarians have most daim to it and would 
occupy it with the greatest advantage to the civilisation of the 
world. The Bulgarians professed the Eastern form of Christianity, 
generally known as the Greek Church, and were under the 
authority of the Greek Patriarch who Uved in the Fanariote 
Quarter of Constantinople, so called after the Fanar, or lighthouse, 
the most conspicuous building in it. As the Greeks were their 
principal rivals, were of an overbearing disposition, and always 
laid claim to the possession of Constantinople, which the 
Bulgarians desired for themselves, and as the Bulgarian Church 
was an ancient and distinguished conmiunity, dignified by a 
literature, churches and traditions of its own, they wished to have 
an independent Patriarch and throw off the yoke of the Greeks ; 
and the Sultan and the Tsar were agreed in granting these 

During the reign of Alexander the Russians extended their RmuU ia 
confines far over the plains of Central Asia. This development ^*^ 
b^an with the conquest of Siberia, which was inaugurated by 
Peter the Great and continued by Nicholas I. Step by step 
Russia advanced into the country of the Kirghizes, defending 
its acquisitions by building fortresses as it proceeded, and in 1843 
the great horde of that people submitted to Russian authority. 
This was succeeded by long wars with the Khan of Khokand, in 
the 'fifties and 'sixties, which had the object of extending Russian 
power in the valley of the Syr Daria, the ancient Jaxartes, and of 
conquering the important commercial dty of Tashkend. When 
the country was subdued, it was incorporated with the Russian 



Empire under the name of Turkestan in 1865. The two foUowing* 
years witnessed the defeat of the Emir of Bokhara and the 
annexation of his dominions, Samarkand, the capital, &lling inta 
Russian hands in May, 1868. The Emir was wise enough to see 
that resistance was useless, and that his best hope lay in a ck)se 
friendship with the victorious foe. 

Still more important was the campaign against the Khan of 
•f Iklva. Khiva, the last portion of Turkestan which remained unsubdued- 
These conquests were not like the exploits of the ancient Persians,, 
mere military manifestations for the glory and interest of the 
Sovereign. They were brought about by inevitable circumstances. 
It is impossible for a civihsed Power to be the close neighbour of 
an uncivilised Power without feeling the necessity of extending 
its frontiers. The conqueror who attempts to introduce civilisa- 
tion and good government into a country which has not known 
them finds his roads of communication broken up ^d his criminals* 
and conspirators gladly received across the border, and reprisals 
are forced upon him, and war tends to annexation. The Russian 
military stations in Turkestan were perpetually harassed by the 
raids of the undisciplined tribes of the valley of the Oxus, south 
of the Aral Sea. They were obliged to put them down by force,, 
and in the conflict which ensued the Khan of Khiva seized some 
Russian subjects and refused to give them up. This was regarded, 
as a cause of war. The Khan was compelled to submit, and the 
influence of Russia in Central Asia was largely increased. The 
advance of Russia caused Great Britain some alarm with regard 
to her position in India, and Count Shuvalov was sent to London 
to give explanations. He succeeded in persuading the British 
Government that Russian conquests in Khiva threatened no 
danger to India, but were merely measures of absolute necessity 
for the preservation of those districts Russia had already 
conquered. He also said that if the Russian advance in Central 
Asia, which was in the interest of peace and civilisation, was 
unopposed by Great Britain the Russians would not object to an 
extension of British influence on the side of Afghanistan. How- 
ever, Great Britain thought it prudent to conclude an offensive 
and defensive alliance with Afghanistan, pay the Ameer a yearly 
subvention, and promise to protect his cotmtry against aggression 
if he would take her advice. 

In 1873 General Kaufmann was placed in command of an 
expedition against Khiva, which was to attack it from four sides. 
His march, which lasted from April to June, lay through a desert 
country, swept by storms of wind and sand, against which tents 



offered no protection. The heat was intense and there was no 
water, but the Russian soldier is patient and enduring, and 
trained by long practice to bear hardship. Khiva was defended 
by a force of ao,ooo Turkomans, but after a siege and bombard- 
ment Kaufmann entered it as conqueror on June loth. In the 
meantime Skobelev, who afterwards became so famous, was 
exploring the bed of the Oxus and the district towards the east. 
The Khan had escaped to the desert, but returned and made 
peace, on payment of a war indemnity of 2,000,000 roubles and 
the cession of the country on the right bank of the Amu Daria, 
the ancient Oxus. Thus the Khan of Khiva became a vassal of 

By this exploit the power of Russia in Central Asia was RutUa 
enormously increased, and Great Britain had reason to complain AggNMioa 
that the trust which Russia had imposed upon herself in previous *" Ct^tral 
n^otiations had been greatly exceeded. Indeed, this sudden 
and momentous development of Russian territory and influence 
gave some excuse for the anti-Russian policy of Beaconsfield, 
and a struggle now ensued between Great Britain and Russia for 
the subjection of the tribes which lay between their respective 
frontiers. In 1875 and 1876 Kaufmann and Skobelev entirely 
subdued the Khanate of Khokand, and annexed it to the Russian 
Empire under the name of Ferighan. In 1880 and 1881 Skobelev 
reduced the wild and untamable horse-riding hordes of the Tekke 
Turkomans, and penetrated as far as Merv, a town fifteen or 
twenty days' journey from Khiva, which some Englishmen have 
described as the key to India. The territory of Khuldja, which 
had formerly belonged to the Chinese, was also conquered, but 
the greater part of it was afterwards given back to them, and 
the island of Sakhalin was conquered from Japan. A similar 
struggle was going on in Persia, where, since 1848, Nasraddin 
had been Shah. Moreover, the Russians had started the Trans- 
Caspian railway from the Caspian Sea to Samarkand. It was 
mainly constructed by General Annenkov, and was completed in 
1888 ; the Trans-Siberian railway was also b^;un. 

A league was formed between the Emperors of Germany, Tro«Ua is 
Austria and Russia, with the immediate purpose of preserving the EaUaun* 
peace in the Balkan Peninsula, but with certain ulterior objects. 
There was, at this period, a Panslavic movement which aimed at 
uniting all branches of the Slavic race under the Tsar of Russia. 
This was opposed to the interests of two of the three Powers 
mentioned, but the Tsar hoped that if he gave way on this point 
his Imperial brothers might be willing to further his ambitious 



iB ftk« 


BffttPte for 

designs in other directions. At this time a spark was kindled in 
Bosnia and Herzegovina which, gradually spreading, eventually 
set Europe in a flame. Ever since the Peace of Paris the Turkish 
Government had been falling into a state of decadence. 

The Crimean War had left Turkey weaker than it found her. 
^■*Jf**"*to" The " Sick Man " was not cured, but every day apinroached nearer 

to dissolution. The non-Mohammedan races under the dominion of 
the Sultan aimed more and more at independent government, 
with a persistence which rendered all efforts of the Christian West 
futile, while the Porte tried to pacify them with deceitful promises. 
Foreign intervention became a necessity. In i860 the Emperor 
Napoleon was compelled to prevent by arms the conmion murders 
of the Druses and Maronites which drenched the Lebanon with 
blood. A French general marched into Damascus and enabled 
the Turkish pasha to inflict the penalty of justice on the mur- 
derers, while the Government at Constantinople was compelled 
to grant a constitution to the Lebanon, which would prevent such 
atrocities in future. 

On June 26th, 1861, Abdul Medjid died, and was succeeded by 
his brother Abdul Aziz. After initiating a few reforms he fell into 
a condition of slackness and apathy, and was swayed by favourites 
who squandered the finances. A conviction grew up in Con- 
stantinople that the Turkish Empire could only be saved from 
ruin by the adoption of reforms on the European model and by 
an approach to European culture. These views were put forward 
by the great statesman, Fuad Pasha, who, in the summer of 1867, 
accompanied his Sovereign in a journey to the Courts of Paris, 
London and Vienna and, under cover of the impression which 
this journey made upon the mind of his master, induced the 
Sultan to grant equal privileges to his Christian and Mohanmiedan 
subjects and release the Government from the hampering principles 
of the Koran. His efforts were not altogether in vain, and a good 
deal was effected of a reforming character. But the ignorance 
of the officials, the prejudices of the people, the fanaticism of the 
Old Turkish party, the hatred of the army towards Christians, 
and the hopeless condition socially and financially of the Empire 
made it doubtful whether reform were possible at all. Unhappily, 
Fuad Pasha died at Nice on February nth, 1867, and the reforms 
came to an end. 

One of the greatest difficulties of the Porte lay in the desire of 
her vassal states for independence. In January, 1859, Moldavia 
and Wallachia joined together under the title of the Principality 
of Roumania. The Diet, paying no attention to the protests of 


a KiBgdom. 


the Porte against the union, chose as sovereign Alexander Cusa» 
descended from an unimportant Boyar family, who had risen by 
his own abilities and character. He was not a success. In May, 
1864, tired of the opposition of the Diet to his wilful and 
extravagant rule, he imitated Louis Napoleon by demanding a 
plebiscite, which abrogated the Constitution ; but in less than 
two years he was deposed by a conspiracy at Bucharest on 
February 23rd, 1866, and died at Heidelberg on May 15th, 1873. 
A German Prince, Charles Antony of Hohenzollem, brother of the 
Hohenzollem whose candidature for the throne of Spain was the 
cause of the Franco-Prussian War, was elected in his place, and 
as King of Roumania met with universal praise, while his gifted 
and beautiful Queen was recognised as a crowned genius. 

Servia had attempted to liberate herself from the fetters of 8«riia*i 
Turkish supremacy since the beginning of the century. Milosh l>j»aitte 
Obrenovich, the foimder of a line of national Princes, went farther ^^•■•■■* 
and endeavoured to get rid of the Russian patronage, exercised 
through the National Party and the Senate in Belgrade, which 
possessed a predominant power. He was unable to effect this and, 
on July 13th, 1839, abdicated in favour of his eldest son. Milan, 
who was in bad health, died, and his brother Michael Obrenovich 
was made Prince. He was even less capable than his father of 
overcoming the obstacles which beset his path, and, after having 
for three years done his best to withstand the intrigues and 
conspiracies of the opposite party, also was forced to leave the 
country in September, 1842, whereupon the Skupshina, the 
National Assembly, declared that the family of Obrenovich were 
deposed, and summoned Alexander Karageoigievitch to the 
throne, and he was confirmed by the Sultan. The Emperor 
Nicholas was very angry at these proceedings, but when he was 
assured that the position of Russia as protector of the Christians 
in Servia would not be affected he gave his consent. 

The Crimean War was helpful to Servian independence. Prince Duj 
Alexander declared his neutrality, and the Porte was obliged to teM i> 
permit him to train an army in order to defend it. The Peace of 
Paris also tended in the same direction. Servia remained subject 
to the Porte, but it became perfectly independent in administra- 
tion, legislation and religion. Further, it acquired freedom of 
commerce and navigation under the guarantee of the Powers. 
The Turks continued to garrison the Turkish fortresses, but were 
not allowed to interfere with the administration of the country — 
a dual control which held within itself the seeds of disorder. 
Arrangements rendered necessary by the war and carried still 






Muder of 



farther after the peace had the effect of weakening the supremacy 
of the Sultan, of increasing the national conscience, and preparing 
for the complete independence of the country. A national militia 
was formed with the acknowledged purpose of assisting the 
Christians against the Turks if the occasion arose, and no atten- 
tion was paid to the protests of the Porte. 

The national party of the Young Servians, supported by the 
Senate and the cultured classes, looked towards Russia as the 
head of their national inspirations and their religion. On the 
other hand, Prince Alexander leaned more upon the support of 
Austria. The opposition to him became stronger and, in 1858, 
he was compelled to summon a Skupshina, which on December 
23rd deposed him. He took refuge in Austria, and the banished 
Prince Milosh Obrenovich was summoned to the throne. He 
died next year and, on September 26th, i860, the crown came to 
his son, Michael HI., who declared it hereditary in his House. He 
tried to increase the national army and also, with the help of the 
Powers, to drive the Turks out of the country, excepting those 
who garrisoned the fortresses. This arrangement only lasted till 
March, 1867, when the fortresses were evacuated by the Turkish 
troops, and the suzerainty of the Porte was reduced to a shadow. 

On June loth, 1868, one of those tragedies occurred which 
have so often disgraced the annals of Servia. As Michael was 
walking in the Park of Topshider, in the neighbourhood of 
Belgrade, he was attacked by three insurgents armed with 
revolvers and killed, a relation who was with him being fatally 
wounded. Popular opinion ascribed this murder to the intrigues 
of Alexander Karageorgievitch. If this were the case, the 
plot failed. Milan Obrenovich, the youthful cousin of Michael, 
succeeded, and Radovonovitch was condemned to death and 
three others to five years' imprisonment. Michael's tragic death 
caused universal sympathy. During his reign he had set himself 
free from Turkish influence, had driven the Turks from the 
country, and had secured the possession of their fortresses. He 
had done his best to introduce European culture, and had placed 
the constitution on a firm basis. He feU a victim to the barbarism 
which he had attempted to destroy. After four years of regency 
there followed a period of peace and prosperity, in which the 
constitution was established on a parliamentary basis. Milan 
assumed the government in August, 1872, it being well known 
that he was under the influence of Russia. Monten^ro and 
Herz^ovina were also occupied in settling themselves under 
the protection of Russia. Danilo, Prince of Montenegro, was 



murdered on August 12th, i860, and was succeeded by his 
brother's son, Nikola. 

The kingdom of Greece also was not without its troubles. King Kla| Ottp 
Otto had proved a very bad ruler, but for thirty years the sceptre ^••*<m ^ 
was held by his trembling hands. Bavaria had paid a large sum Q^^^g^ 
to maintain the security and dignity of his throne. But the defects 
of his personal character prevented the Greeks from feeling grati- 
tude, and the injudicious conduct he had shown after the crisis 
of the Crimean War estranged the affections of his subjects, especi- 
ally the army. The gradual dismemberment of Turkey encouraged 
the Greeks to hope for an addition to their country, an enlarge- 
ment they were hardly likely to obtain under this feeble monarch. 
A conspiracy was formed, the head of which was the aged Admiral 
Canaris, so distinguished in the War of Liberation. In February, 
1862, a military rising occurred in Nauplia, which, however, was 
put down in April, though the lack of energy displayed by the 
King in suppressing it encouraged others to follow the example. 
In October, as the King was occupied in a progress round the 
Peloponnesus, risings took place in Patras and Corinth and 
eventually in Athens itself. A provisional Government was 
estabUshed, and when the King heard of it he returned to the 
Piraeus. Here he was advised by his ambassadors to abandon all 
idea of resistance, and from Salamis he issued a proclamation 
announcing his intention of returning to his own coimtry. He 
went on board an English ship which brought him to Trieste. 

There was some difficulty in finding a successor. Prince Alfred Chooilarf a 
of Great Britain was first chosen, and crowned as King of Greece S*^ 
by his fellow midshipmen on board his ship with a bunch of tallow 
candles, but he refused the honour. The Tsar wished for the 
Duke of Leuchtenberg, the son of Prince Eugtoe, the step-son of 
Napoleon, who was also favoured by France. It was then deter- 
mined to return to the old decision which excluded the families 
of the principal European Powers, and when the British Govern- 
ment announced its intention to strengthen the new kingdom by 
the cession of the Ionian Islands, the choice of a Sovereign was 
left to it. After searching in vain in the favourite preserves of 
the House of Coburg, and proposing in turn to the King of 
Portugal and Duke Ernest of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, the choice 
eventually fell on the brother of the Princess of Wales, who, on 
June 5th, 1863, became King of Greece with the title of Geoige. 
King George married a Russian princess, as was right and proper, 
and the principal objects of his reign were to acquire a better 
frontier on the north and obtain possession of Crete, which ought 



to have belonged to Greece from the beginmng, and would have 
done so but for the prejudice and obstinacy of the Duke of 

After the Treaty of Frankfort the condition of the Turkish 
S^i-^ uij Enipire became worse, and the desire of her Christian subjects 
HmagoTliia. ^^^ independence grew stronger. The relations between the 

Christians — responsible for the payment of taxes and the per- 
formance of services — and their Mohammedan masters gradually 
became less endurable, as the financial condition in Constantinople 
assumed the proportions of a national bankruptcy, and the 
Turkish tax-farmers in the provinces resorted to the most 
oppressive means to extort the money necessary to pay them- 
selves and the troops. In July, 1875, an armed insurrection, 
caused by these abuses, broke out, first in the Herzegovina and 
then in Bosnia. The women, children and old men, with their 
cattle and other scanty possessions, took refuge in Austria and 
Montenegro, while the men and youths opened an irr^^ular warfare 
against the Turkish troops, who were commanded by Mukhtar 
Pasha, a natural son of Abdul Aziz. The rising, which might 
have been put down by energetic methods rapidly applied^ 
gained strength through the laziness and carelessness of the 
Turks ; and the insurgents, reinforced by volunteers from Servia 
and Montenegro, took up strong positions in the passes and 
MadiatioB of At the suggestion of Austria the Powers attempted to mediate 
tho Fowonu by means of a consular deputation. The insurgents were informed 

that they must not expect assistance from a Christian Power, 
and must lay their grievances before Servar Pasha in Mostar, 
while the Ottoman Government was advised to remove abuses 
and execute reforms. The mediation had no result. The insur- 
gents knew by experience that they could place no confidence 
in any promises from Constantinople unless guaranteed by the 
Powers. Austria, Russia and Germany gave their sanction to 
a note drawn up by Count Andrassy with the object of putting 
an end to the insiurection, by obliging the Turks to grant reforms 
to improve the condition of the Christians, and to this note Italy 
and France gave their adhesion. But Great Britain kept 
aloof. A Tory Government was now in power, and Disraeli 
cherished such jealousy of Russia that he was afraid the Tsar 
might drive the Turks out of Europe and seize Constantinople 
for himself. 

The winter passed in this manner, but unrest spread through- 
out the Balkan Peninsula. At length, on January 31st, 1876,. 




Great Britain gave her adhesion to the Andrassy Note, which was 
now presented by Count Zichy to Raschid Pasha, the Foreign 
Minister of the Porte. The note was considered by a Council of 
Ministers, and the ambassadors were informed that the Porte 
accepted the suggestions with r^ard to the equality of Christians 
before the law, the aboUtion of tax-farming, and improvement 
in the condition of the peasantry, and for this purpose an Irade, 
or Circular Note, was issued on February 23rd, promising an 
amnesty to the insiugents, a safe return to the emigrants, and 
remittance of the tithe for one year and of other taxes for two 
years. The insurgents, however, declined to lay down their arms 
or return to their homes imless the concessions of the Porte were 
guaranteed by the Powers. This, of course, was impossible, so 
the Andrassy Note failed. Hostihties began anew, the excite- 
ment spread to Bulgaria, and Prince Milan in Belgrade b^an 
to show sympathy with his brother Slavs, hoping that, in the 
general confusion, he might be recognised as Sovereign of Servia 
and Bosnia. A secret society, called the Omladina, was estab- 
lished in the Balkan Peninsuhi, similar to the Hetairia in Greece, 
for the purpose of spreading the Panslavic propaganda. 

Through this increase of Panslavic sentiment, Austria, which RmsU ai 
had hitherto occupied the principal place in the n^otiations with Frotaclor of 
Turkey, began to take a subordinate position, as the Hungarians *^* ***"• 
had more sympathy with the Turks than with the southern Slavs. 
Although the Hungarians had suffered many hardships from the 
Turks in ancient days, yet they had never forgotten the defeat 
of Villagos, and their hatred of Russia and fears of an increase of 
the Slavic element in their own country were stronger than the 
recollection of their own past history. Thus Russia now took 
the first place in the movement. The southern Slavs in Bulgaria, 
Bosnia and Servia were boimd to her not only by ties of race, 
but also of religion. The Russians were delighted to think that 
the races in the Balkan Peninsula were looking to them for 
protection, and the Tsar was proud to appear as the representa- 
tive of Europe before the Turks, to defend the cause of humanity, 
Christianity and civilisation. The insurrection, which had b^;im 
in the Herzegovina and Bosnia, spread still farther in the spring. 
When in April, 1876, the Turkish commander wished to provision 
the fortress of Nicsics, which was being besieged, his army was 
intercepted at the Duga Pass. 

In May the insurrection spread to Bulgaria, and there was 
danger of the whole of European Turkey being in a blaze. In 
the middle of May a conference, held at Ems, between Bismarck, 



Gortshakov and Andrassy, resulted in a memorandum being 
presented to the Porte by the three Powers, saying that they 
regarded the request for a guarantee as reasonable, that there 
should be an armistice for two months, and that if at the end of 
that time satisfactory arrangements had not been made, the three 
Courts would take steps to enforce their wishes. Great Britain 
declined to join, and Russia was designated as the instrument 
to be employed to execute the judgment. But just at this time 
certain occurrences at Constantinople turned the attention of the 
world to matters of greater importance. 
Daath of AU these events — ^the uprising of the Christians, the support 

IMid lilB. giy^ji \yy ^hc Prfuce of M onteucgro to the insurgents of Nicsics» 
and the rebellion of the Bulgarians — ^had stimulated Moham* 
medan fanaticism and the hatred of the Turks against the 
Russians. Even before the Conference of Ems quarrels had 
arisen at Salonica between Christians and Mohammedans, which 
led to the murder of the German and French consuls, while a few 
days later there was an outbreak of fanaticism against the Sultan 
in Constantinople, Abdul Aziz being considered the cause of all 
the mischief. On May nth the softas, or pupils of the Moslem 
theological seminaries, came together, and passing in long pro- 
cession before the palace of the Sultan demanded the dismissal 
of the Grand Vizir Mahmoud Pasha, and the Sheikh-ul-Islam. 
The Sultan gave way, but the riot was not at an end. On May 
30th his own ministers, with the consent of the new Sheikh-ul- 
Islam, pronounced his deposition, and declared his heir, Murad V., 
to be Ruler of the Faithful. When he heard of this, on June 4th, 
Abdul Aziz, as was publicly announced, put an end to himself 
by opening his veins. But it was afterwards discovered that he 
had been killed by a number of high officials, among whom was 
Midhat Pasha ; eunuchs and palace officials held him fast while 
he was stifled by chloroform, and then a Jewish doctor, a pervert 
to Islamism, opened his veins. 
TuUgh Under Murad V., who was a nonentity, the country was 

Attempt at governed by the Grand Vizir Rushdi, the War Minister 
*""• Hussein Avni, and the cultured Midhat, who by many was 
thought a charlatan. Their plan was to establish parliamentary 
government on the British model, with equal rights for all 
religions, but at the same time to regenerate the Ottoman Empire 
and make it independent of external influences. The Koran and 
the harem were to cease to rule, and a new Eastern Empire was 
to be established on the Bosphorus. But this were as profitable 
as to graft an apple on an oak tree ; nations, like individuals , 



are too much bound by their past to profit by these sudden 

The Bulgarian atrocities, which horrified the conscience of BulfarUa 
Europe, took place at the very time this new era was called into ^t^o©*****- 
existence, and showed that, however the Turks might change 
their principles, their actions remained the same. " You may 
change a man's skin," say the Italians, " but you will never 
change his vices." The spirit of Mohammedan fanaticism, instead 
of being pacified by these proceedings, was roused to more violent 
passions, which were intensified by the dispatch of the British 
fleet to Salonica. On June 15th Raschid Pasha and Hussein 
Avni, two of the miurderers of Abdul Aziz, were themselves 
miu'dered at a Council of State by Hassan Bey, the brother of 
one of the slain Sultan's favourite wives. The Bulgarian insur- 
rection, which had broken out prematurely, was put down by 
Circassians and Bashi-Bazouks with the utmost severity and 
cruelty. In Batak, on May 12th, there was an indiscriminate 
slaughter. Thousands of Christians — ^men, women and children 
— ^were murdered, mutilated and violated, and more than a 
hundred villages were burned. The news of these barbarities 
reached England on June 23rd. Fiuther investigations made 
matters worse instead of better. The question occupied the 
attention of Parhament, Gladstone being indignant, and DisraeU, 
shortly to become Lord Beaconsfield, indifferent. 

We will desert a strictly chronological order and speak of ilooMgion of 
the effect on Great Britain later. Milan of Servia and Nikola of Abdul 
Montenegro made common cause with the insurgents in Bosnia *•■"*• 
and the Herzegovina, with the object of securing these provinces for 
themselves. They reckoned upon the support of Russia, and 
especially of the Panslavic party in Moscow. At the end of 
Jime Milan crossed the frontier with his army ; but Great Britain 
continued to play an unworthy part. She sent her fleet into 
Besika Bay, ostensibly to prevent bloodshed, but really to protect 
the Turks from the attacks of Russia. On August 31st Murad V., 
who had been fovmd imbecile, was deposed, and his brother Abdul 
Hamid put in his place. Milan was declared King of Servia by 
Russian influence on September i6th, but before the end of 
October his army had been so completely beaten by the Turks 
that the road lay open to Belgrade. 

In the meantime the details of the Bulgarian massacres oiadtlMM't 
had begun to make way in England. On September 6th, Mr. Bnl|Ml*« 
Gladstone published a pamphlet, Bulgarian Horrors and the ""*■*•*• 
Question of the East, which was sold at the rate of 10,000 copies 



a day. He declared he could not longer bear in silence his share 
of responsibility for the Crimean War. There was not, he said, 
a criminal in a European jail, or a cannibal in the South Sea 
Islands, whose indignation would not rise at the sight of what 
had been done by the one great anti-human specimen of 
humanity. He demanded the entire withdrawal of the adminis- 
trative rule of the Turks from these provinces. The words 
which follow have become famous: "As an old servant of the 
Crown and State, I entreat my countrymen, upon whom, 
perhaps, far more than upon any other people in Europe it 
depends, to require and insist that our Government, which has 
been working in one direction, shall work in another, and shaU 
employ all its vigour to concur with the other States of 
Europe in obtaining the extinction of the Turkish executive 
power in Bulgaria. Let the Turks now carry away their 
abuses in the only possible manner — ^namely, by canying ofiE 
themselves. Their Zaptiehs and their Mudirs, their Bimbashis 
and their Yuzbashis, their Kaimakams and their Pashas, one and 
all, bag and baggage, shall, I hope, clear out from the province 
they have desolated and profaned." 
L«rd On September i8th, when the excitement of this pamphlet was 

Jj^'* at its height, the appearance of Mr. Walter Baring's report on 
U^^ *"■ the massacres added fuel to the flames. He put the number of 
Bulgarians massacred at 12,000. The case of Batak was even 
worse than the report. The inhabitants had been summoned to 
give up their arms, and were assured that if they did so their 
lives would be spared. They obeyed and were all mmrdered; 
1,200 were burned alive in a church. Lord Derby, who felt the 
shame and infamy more keenly than other members of the Cabinet, 
ordered Sir Henry Elliot, the British Ambassador at the Porte, 
to inform the Turkish Government that their atrocious crimes 
had roused the anger of the British people, and that the Powers 
could not be indifferent to such abominations. He was instructed 
to ask for a personal interview with the Sultan, and demand the 
punishment of the murderers, especiaUy Achmet Aga, to which 
request, it is needless to say, the Turks paid no heed. 
RoMia Unhappily, this honourable expression of opinion about the 

H^to th« conduct of Turkey was checked by the stupid jealousy which had 
2j^J^ h^n the curse of British policy in the East. It was thought part 
of Great Britain's duty to defend Constantinople against capture 
by Russia, whereas a saner policy teaches that Russia is the 
natural heir to the Byzantine Empire, and that, if she had become 
mistress of Constantinople a hundred years before it would have 



been better for Great Britain and better for the world. It was idle 
for statesmen to attempt to pervert what all the forces of Nature 
were clamouring to have done. The Tsar, however, gave the 
British Ambassador his word of honour that he had no (tesigns on 
Constantinople, nor any intention of annexing Bulgaria. 

The Emperor Alexander now determined on more energetic 
measures. He could not see with indifference Servia destroyed, J****' . 
Bosnia and Herzegovina wasted, the Bulgarian Christians mur- m lH^jSl^ 
dered. The result of conferences at Livadia was that on October 
31st, 1876, he gave Turkey the alternative of war with Russia 
or a cessation of hostilities within two months. The latter, after 
some delay, was agreed to by Midhat. But this policy met vdth 
strong opposition from Great Britain. At the Guildhall Banquet on 
November 9th Lord Beaconsfield delivered a speech of a threaten- 
ing description. He said that there was no country so well 
prepared for war as England, because there was no country whose 
resources were so great, and he added that in a righteous cause 
England would begin a fight which would not end until right had 
been done. Naturally the Tsar was very angry at this. " Why," 
he asked, " should there be war with England, and what was the 
righteous cause ? " He had assented to a congress proposed by 
England, of which the object was peace. Lord SaUsbmy, who 
had been deputed to attend the conference, left England on 
December 5th, and the conference opened on December 12th. 

In London a memorable meeting was held in St. James's Hall, Oieat 
on December 8th, to protest against war with Russia. Among Jj"**"^" 
the conveners were men of letters who did not as a rule take ••*"•• 
any part in politics, such as William Morris and Robert Browning, 
John Ruskin and Edward Bmne- Jones. Carlyle wrote advising 
that the unspeakable Turk should immediately be struck out of 
the question and the country left to honest European guidance, 
delaying which could be profitable and agreeable only to gamblers 
on the Stock Exchange, but distressing and unprofitable to all 
other men. The Duke of Westminster, who presided at the morn- 
ing meeting, advised that the fleets and armies of Great Britain 
should be sent to Constantinople, not in opposition to Russia, 
but for the coercion of the Turks. 

The conference sat in Constantinople from December 12th to tIm Cm- 
the 20th. It consisted of representatives of the great European ^•Mao^ 
Powers without any member from Turkey. It decided that 
reforms should be introduced into the Turkish administration 
of Bosnia, Herzegovina and Bulgaria, and that a force of 6,000 
Europeans should see that they were carried out. If it rejected 



this proposal, the Ottoman Empire should be at an end. Unfor- 
tunately, the Powers were not agreed on the policy they should 
pursue, and Lord Salisbury was instructed to oppose occupa- 
tion. The manner in which the Porte met the proposals was 
characteristic. The day before the conference met Midhat was 
appointed Grand Vizir, and Safvet Pasha announced the estab- 
lishment of a Parliamentary Government. By this instrument 
all provinces of the Turkish Empire were to enjoy equal rights ; 
therefore it would be impossible to accept the proposab of the 
conference, by which certain provinces were to be treated in an 
exceptional manner. The advent of this precious document was 
announced to expectant Europe by a salvo of artillery ; but its 
only result was, on December 28th, to prolong the armistice and 
postpone the danger of immediate war. The demands of the 
Powers instantly took the form of an International Commission 
nominated by them, and the submission of the appointment of 
Governors-General to their approval. On January 20th, 1877, 
these points were finally rejected by Safvet Pasha, and Lord 
Salisbury declared the conference to be at an end. Shortly after 
this, on March ist, Midhat, the reputed leader of the reform party, 
was banished, and Edhem Pasha took his place. 
Rmtla Although the conference had failed, owing to the disagree- 

^daret ment of the Powers, the Emperor of Russia determined to proceed 
with the beneficent work of protecting the Christian subjects of 
the Porte from intolerable oppression. He sent Shuvalov and 
Ignatiev to London, with the result that a protocol was signed 
at the British Foreign Ofiice on the last day of March. It declared 
that if the reforms promised by the Turkish Government were 
not effectively carried out the situation would become intoler- 
able. On April loth the Porte repudiated the protocol as incon- 
sistent with the Treaty of Paris, and after a short delay Russia 
declared war. Alexander avowed that he was acting as the 
representative of Europe, but Great Britain declined to endorse 
this view. 



After the Emperor Alexander had decided upon war, he left Tha Tiar-i 
St. Petersbuiig, and on April 23rd arrived at Kishinev, the head- ■•a**"**^ 
quarters of his army. On the following day he issued a manifesto 
annoimcing to the world that he imdertook the war in order to 
obtain for his fellow Christians Uving in Turkish territory the 
securities which were absolutely necessary for their future welfare. 
On the night of April 23rd he crossed the Pruth and entered 
Roumania, with whose Government he had made a convention 
which enabled him to march upon the Danube. The Emperor 
accompanied the army, not with the idea of taking the command, 
which he left in the hands of Duke Nicholas, but to stimulate the 
courage of the soldiers, and he remained in Ploesti, where his 
headquarters were stationed. Azakov wrote in a Moscow news- 
paper, " The Russian banners are moving on the other side of the 
Danube, for the purpose of restoring freedom and the rights of 
humanity to the Christian races of the Balkan Peninsula, hitherto 
enslaved and persecuted, despised by the Powers of Europe, who 
are so proud of their civilisation. The slumbering Orient is 
awake ; not only the Slavs of the Balkan Peninsula, but the whole 
Slavic world awaits its regeneration. This is the dawn of a new, 
an entirely new, epoch — a dawn which announces the coming of 
a new day for the Slavic race," 

It is desirable to give some account of the organisation of the The RoatUui 
Slavic armies. The Russian army was organised in army corps. *"■/• 
It was recruited by a system of compulsory military service which 
had been introduced in 1874, in consequence of the lessons of the 
war of 1870, but had not been completely developed when the 
present war broke out. In each army corps there were two 
infantry divisions, each composed of two brigades. Each brigade 
contained two r^;iments, each regiment three battaUons, each 
battalion five companies. An army corps also had a division 
of cavalry, composed of two brigades, each containing two regi- 
ments ; one brigade had a regiment of dragoons and a regiment 
of lancers, the other a regiment of hussars and a r^[iment of 
Cossacks. The cavalry division, besides, had two horse artillery 



batteries, each consisting of six four-pounder guns. The army 
corps had, further, two brigades of artillery, one containing three 
nine-pounder batteries, the other three four-pounder batteries, 
so that an army corps at full strength held 25,000 infantry, 3,000 
cavalry, and 108 gims ; but in actual service the corps were 
seldom, if ever, complete. The Cossacks were a peculiar part of 
the Russian army. They had an organisation of their own — 
a compromise between the national customs and the arrangements 
of a modem army. They were, as Maurice says, a semi-regular 
force of national horsemen, provided their own horses and equip- 
ment, and rendered military service in Ueu of taxes, the Govern- 
ment supplying them with arms and ammimition. They were 
intelligent, accustomed to rely on their own resources, and made 
good scouts, when placed under suitable officers, but were deficient 
in discipline. They were organised in squadrons 100 strong, 
called sotnias. 
&• Tnridih The Turkish army was composed entirely of Mohammedans, 
^"■y* Christians not being permitted to serve, but paying a poll-tax 

instead. The army consisted of four classes of soldiers, each with 
a different obligation. A Mussulman had first to serve in the 
nizam, or active army, in which the infantry served for four years 
and the cavalry and artillery for five ; he then passed into the 
ithick for two more years' service ; from this he went into the 
redif for eight years, and then into the mustaphiz for six years. 
The army was divided into seven army corps, formed on a terri- 
torial basis : two of these were in Europe and five in Asia. The 
whole organisation of the Turkish army was very loose, but it 
was now in a better condition than usual, having been employed 
in 1875 and 1876 against Herzegovina and Montenegro. The 
soldiers were excellent, but their commanders were corrupt. They 
looked upon their commands merely as sources of income, and 
were given to peculation. They depended for their advance- 
ment, and even for the maintenance of their position, on Court 
intrigue ; but, at the same time, the pashas were aware that if 
they did not do their duty they would inevitably lose their 
The RaitlaB The Russian army contained fourteen army corps, to which 

must be added a special corps of Bulgarian refugees, tmder Russian 
officers, so that the total force available at the beginning of the 
operations was about 200,000. It was commanded by the Grand 
Duke Nicholas, the brother of the Tsar, a man to whom the 
reorganisation of the army was principally due. His Chief of 
Staff was Nepokortshitzki, who was sometimes called " the Russian 



Moltke." On April i8th the Roumanian army was mobilised for 
the first time in its history, and comprised 32,000 infantry, 
4,000 cavalry, and 84 gmis. 

The chief command of the Turkish army was given to Abdul TheTurUth 
Kerim Pasha, who was seventy-one years of age and belonged to '*•■• 
the old school. Maurice says of him that he thought slowly, spoke 
little, never set his foot to the ground, and hardly ever put his 
horse out of a walk. He had been educated in a miUtary college 
in Vienna, had commanded the Turks in the war against Servia, 
but seldom left his house in Sofia. His second in command was 
Ahmed Eyoub Pasha, who was a bom fighter but had had no 
scientific training as a soldier. Abdul Kerim had under his 
command an army of 170,000 men, in very scattered positions, 
and the Turks had another 150,000 still more widely dispersed 
in different parts of the Empire. There was a quadrilateral in 
Turkey, as there was in Venetia, consisting of the fortresses of 
Rustchuk, Schumla, Varna and Silistria, and Abdul Kerim's 
plan was to entice the Russians into it and destroy them ; but the 
Russians were equally anxious to avoid the trap. On May 22nd 
Prince Charles of Roumania, with the consent of his Chambers, 
declared the country to be independent of the Porte, and, placing 
himself at the head of his army, marched into the field to fight 
against the Sultan who had been his suzerain. At the same time 
Russian troops crossed the Turkish frontiers into Asia, captured 
Bayazid without opposition, and stormed Ardahan on the upper 
waters of the Kur. 

Between June 21st and 28th the Russians successfully crossed Rnniain 
the Danube, partly by boat and partly by a pontoon bridge ^^ *^ 
constructed not far from Galatz, and became masters of a niunber ^" 
of important places in the Dobrudsha, while the Turks retreated 
to the Wall of Trajan, which extends from Tchemavoda to 
Kustendji. This passage of the river, which had been made with 
astonishing ease, cost the Russians only 800 men, and they 
thoroughly deserved the success which they had won. Their 
plans had been well thought out, and every precaution had been 
taken to mislead and deceive the enemy. When ready to strike, 
they had struck with energy and decision, whereas the Turks 
adopted a system of passive defence and waited for the blow to 
fall. The Turks ought, if they had desired to prevent the pas- 
sage, to have guarded the river by constant patrolling and been 
prepared to concentrate at any point on which the attack might 
be made. Instead, they allowed themselves to be easily deceived 
by the adroitness of the enemy. The Turks had an overwhelm- 



ing force of gnnboats on the Danube, which proved to be of no 
service. There was no connection either between the different 
flotillas themselves or between the army and the navy, and this 
lack of miderstanding, enhanced probably by jealonsy between the 
services, led to inaction and defeat. 

A last attempt was made by Russia to stop the war even at 
at TliMTa* this stage by urging the British Cabinet to put pressure on the 
Turics to grant effective reforms in the Balkan Peninsula ; but 
Sir Henry La)rard, at this time British Ambassador at Constanti- 
nople, declared that the Porte would never ccmsent to a course 
of action the result of which would be to change Bulgaria into 
an autonomous, although vassal State, to recognise the independ- 
ence of Roumania and Servia, and to enlarge the territory of 
Montenegro. The Russians, therefore, were left to do the work 
by themselves. Towards the end of June their main army crossed 
the Danube at Simnitza and Sistova, and compelled the Tuiks 
to retreat, partly to Nikopolis and partly to Timova. The Tsar 
himself advanced to Timova, the administrative capital of the 
ancient Bulgarian kingdom, and from this centre of memories and 
hopes issued a manifesto to the Bulgarian Christians, telling 
them that the hour had come to free them from Mussulman 
KvasUas at In the first days of July the Russians were in possession of 
the ttipka. jji the country between Sistova and Gabrova at the foot of the 
Shipka Pass, so that the Grand Duke Nicholas could transfer 
his headquarters to Timova, and Prince Cherkaski, the well- 
known Slavophil, could begin the organisation of Bulgaria as an 
independent State. The Russians in Moscow thought the war 
would be a parallel in success to the Franco-German War of 1870, 
and that Bulgaria would be a new Alsace.* On July i6th, four 
days after the arrival of the main army at Timova, Nikopolis fell 
into Russian hands, and the attack on the Shipka Pass, the 
passage over the Balkans which opened the road to the valley 
of the Maritza and Constantinople, began imder the direction of 
the gallant Gourko. 
TlM ToFin The pass was defended by Raouf Pasha, who placed his head- 

Sl^iftT** quarters at Slivno and had at his disposal twenty-one battalions 
'^ of infantry, twelve squadrons of cavalry, and two and a half 
batteries of artillery. On July 13th a small body of Cossacks and 
other troops crossed the summit, bivouacked on the southern 
slopes of the Balkans, and descended, next morning, into the 
beautiful valley of the Tundja. The drop from the summit of 
the pass to its foot is one of 3,000 feet in five miles, so that it was 



necessary to dismount the greater part of the cavahy, and employ 
them in lowering the mountain-guns over the rocks and through 
thick brushwood. When the Turks knew that the pass was being 
attacked both from the north and the south, they determined 
to evacuate it, and Gourko's victorious cavalry took possession 
of Eski-Sagra, Karabunar and Jamboli till, on July 25th, they 
reached Harmanli, which lies between Adrianople and Philippo- 
polis and encamped in the valley of the Maritza. It seemed as if 
the campaign would be over in a few weeks, and the Russians 
could march as conquerors into Constantinople. They were 
naturally seconded in their efforts by the Bulgarian Christians, 
who had many wrongs and insults to avenge. 

It might have been thought that the Russian advance would 
be hailed with joy by all friends of liberty and progress through- *•**'■ ^^ 
out the world. But the members of Lord Beaconsfield's Cabinet "'■^« 
were of a different opinion. They were full of dismay at the 
Russian success, and did not recognise the full evil and enormity 
of Turkish rule. They strengthened the British squadron in 
Besika Bay and offered to send ships into the Bosphorus or to 
occupy GallipoU. But Turkey would not consent to this, except 
under an offensive and defensive alliance, and so far the Tories 
were not prepared to go. They would not make war against 
Russia unless Austria would join them. Andrassy thought it 
better policy to preserve the Triple Alliance, and an interview 
vdth Bismarck in Berlin confirmed him in this opinion. 

The view taken by the Liberals could not be better explained Olmditone 
than in the magnificent speech made by Gladstone on May 7th, ?■ ^ 
1877. He said : " There were other days when England was 
the hope of freedom. Wherever in the world a high inspiration 
was entertained, or a noble blow was struck, it was to England 
that the eyes of the oppressed were always turned, to their 
favourite, their darling home of so much privil^e and so much 
happiness, where the people who had built up for themselves a 
noble edifice would, it was well known, be ready to do what in 
them lay to secure the same inestimable boon for others. You 
talk to me of the established tradition and poUcy with regard to 
Turkey. I appeal to an established tradition, older, wider, nobler 
far — ^not a tradition which disregards British interests, but which 
teaches you to seek the protection of these interests in strengthen- 
ing the dictates of honour and justice." He added, in conclu- 
sion : "I beheve, for one, that the knell of Turkish tyranny in 
these provinces has sounded ; so far as human eyes can judge, 
it is about to be destroyed. Its destruction may not come in the 



Dtfenoe of 

Attack on 

way or by the means which we should use, but, come from what 
hands it may, I am persuaded that it will be accepted as a boon 
by Christendom and the world." 

However, at this time the future of the Turkish arms b^an 
to brighten. It was recognised by the Turks that their disasters 
were due to the incompetence of their conmianders and the 
inefficiency of the War Department in Constantinople. Abdul 
Kerim and Redif Pasha, the Minister of War, were accordingly 
dismissed from their offices and sent in banishment to the island 
of Lemnos, while ChaUb Effendi, the new Sheik-ul-Islam, stirred 
the religious feelings of the Moslems and talked of proclaiming a 
holy war by unfurling the banner of the prophet. The command 
of the army on the Danube was given to Mehemet Ali Pasha, the 
descendant of a Huguenot family which had emigrated from 
France to Magdeburg, and Osman Pasha, who had been com- 
mandant of Widin, took up a strong position at Plevna with 
30,000 men and surroimded it with earthworks. His army was 
gradually increased imtil it reached the number of 50,000. 

The occupation of Plevna was of great importance, both to 
the Russians and the Turks. It is situated on the Vid, which 
is here 60 yards wide, and six roads radiating from it open 
communication with all parts of Bulgaria. Osman reached Plevna 
from Widin early on July 19th, having in six days and a half 
marched no miles through difficult country, his troops suffering 
much from heat and want of water. He was attacked by the 
Russians imder Schildner-Schuldner on July 20th, but gained a 
complete victory. Indeed, if his soldiers had not been tired out 
by long marches and want of sleep, he would have entirely 
destroyed the enemy. The failure of the Russians was due to 
the fact that they underrated the strength of the foe. They 
threw themselves upon the Turkish earthworks without previous 
artillery fire or other preparation. They lost 74 officers and 3,771 
men killed and wounded, the Turkish losses being slightly less. 

Kriidener was now bidden drive back Osman at once, but he 
did not consider himself strong enough to attack. He was, how- 
ever, overruled by the Grand Duke Nicholas, who ordered an 
immediate assault. Kriidener now commanded a force of about 
25,000 men. It was decided to make the attack on July 30th, by 
two columns, one moving from the north-east and the other from 
the south-east, the general reserve in the rear forming a connect- 
ing link. The battle ended in total failure, Kriidener losing 168 
officers and 7,167 men — ^nearly a. quarter of his whole force. 
Osman had used up all his reserve during the battle, and had 



no fresh troops to conduct a pursuit. Indeed, he was probably 
not aware of the extent of his victory, as darkness prevented 
him from seeing the disorder of the Russian retreat. 

When the news of the defeat reached Nikopolis and Sistova RsmIab 
it created the utmost alarm. The report that the Turks were Hitetat. 
approaching caused a wild panic, the bridges at Sistova being 
blocked for hours by fugitive Bulgarians, who, along with wounded 
men and camp followers, sought the protection of the northern 
side of the river. If Osman had been in a condition to pursue, 
it is difficult to conjecture what the result would have been. The 
Grand Duke Nicholas was forced to retreat, and moved his head- 
quarters from Timova to Biela, and then to Gomia Studena, 
where he was joined by the Tsar. It is said that the Turks 
behaved in a barbarous manner towards the wounded Russians, 
although the Porte had acceded to the conditions of the Geneva 

The town of Plevna now occupied a place in the Russo-Turkish liwffectiial 
War similar to that which Metz had held in the war between ^**«"P** «** 
France and Germany. Public feeling in St. Petersburg and 
Moscow was depressed, especially as telegraphic news from the 
seat of war was scanty and uncertain, and foreign newspapers 
were generally favourable to the Turks. It seemed undignified 
that the Tsar should be at headquarters without taking command 
of his army ; and the Grand Duke Nicholas had not exhibited 
those abilities in the conduct of the war which were expected 
from him when he was appointed. Moreover, financial difficulties 
supervened, and paper-money sank in value. The Guaid was 
withdrawn to the Danube and the reserves were called out, even 
though it was the time of harvest. Happily for the Riissians, 
Osman made no attempt to advance, contenting himself with 
strengthening Plevna by a very large circuit of earthworks, and 
converting it into an impregnable fortress by numerous well- 
equipped batteries. On their side, the Russians brought new 
army corps into action and entered upon an alliance with the 
Roumanians to secure their help in their operations. Prince 
Charles placed himself at the head of his troops and took an 
active part in the various sanguinary attempts to drive the Turks 
out of Plevna. It became obvious to the Russian Government that 
the war must be pursued with energy, and that the Tsar must 
not return to his capital save as a conqueror. But, in spite of 
the brilliant capture of Lovcha by Skobelev, which formed a 
turning-point in the campaign, and the third battle of Plevna, 
fought on September nth, 12th and 13th, which was mainly an 



attack OD the Gnvitza redoubts, the siege of Flevsa still 
tinned. Dunng these three da3rs the Roaaans lost 300 cAoecs 
and 00 fewer than 12,000 men Idlkd and voonded, vldle the 
Turkish ksses were not more than 3,000. 
tbt War fa In the meantime the fire of war was lagiqg in other places 
besides the Balkan Peninsula. In Armenia the Tnrks held their 
own, and successfully defended Kars and Batoom against the 
assaults of the enemy, and compelled General Tcrgnkasoir to 
evacoate BayazkL He was, however, able to effect a n i^ ste i ly 
retreat to his own comitry, although his march was threatened by 
a Mohammedan ri^ng in Abkhasia and Daghestan. The army 6t 
the Caticasos was not able to effect anything mitfl it had r eori v ed 
reinforcements in the late autmnn. Then it was co mp e t ent to 
defeat the Turks in a series of battles before Eizermn and storm 
the fortress of Kars, where 17,000 men, among whcmi were two 
pashas and 800 officers, as well as 300 gmis and ao banners, bH 
into their hands. The Grand Duke Michael, the Governor of 
Tiflis, was able to enter the city in trimnph. 
CajptaN 9i Noi had the Turks any success in Montenegro. Mehemet Ah 
■Inlii. 2nd Suleiman Pasha attacked Prince Nildta from three sides, and 
did their utmost to crush the rebellion in the Black Mountain* 
but they met with serious defeats. On September 6th Nildta, 
who had been long blockading the fortress of Nicsics, compelled 
it to surrender, took the Duga forts, and turning towards the sea, 
occupied the port of Spizza and the defences of Antivari 
fl|btfagla Bulgaria was the only portion of the theatre of war in iMdiich 
tte Shlpks. fortune smiled upon the Crescent. Here the Turks were able to 
drive the invaders back from their positions south of the Balkans. 
When Suleiman Pasha left Montenegro and, joining the troops of 
Raouf, marched into the valleys of the Timdja and the Maritza, 
Gourko was forced to abandon his position in Eski-Sagra, and 
retire with his cavalry to Kazanlik, and thence to the Shipka Pass. 
As the Russians retired, the Turks followed them, burning and 
wasting the country. Eski-Sagra and Kazanlik were given to 
the flames, and the inhabitants were murdered with indescrib- 
able horrors. Then Suleiman, with admirable strategy, placed his 
forty battalions right across the path of the Russians and barred 
their further advance ; but he could not drive them from their 
entrenchments, and they became again masters of the summit of 
the pass. The struggle continued for weeks. Both sides fought 
with the utmost energy, and the losses on both sides were very 
great, but the Russians were still masters of the pass at the end 
of the year. 



In northern Bulgaria the fortunes of war wavered on the Mehemet All 
Lom and the Jantra, inclining now to one side, now to the other. R««lled. 
Mehemet Ali, the Franco-German, whose real name was Charles 
Detroit, held his own against the foe with the army of the 
Danube, but could not drive the Russians across the river. 
The fact was, he had completely lost heart. He could not trust 
his subordinates, and knew that intrigues against hun were rife 
at Constantinople, where the party of Suleiman were gaining the 
upper hand. Every pasha in the army had some friend at Court, 
who kept him informed of what was going on, and when they 
knew that Mehemet was declining in favour they became insub- 
ordinate and rendered effective command of the army impossible. 
At last the expected blow fell. On October 2nd Suleiman arrived 
on the field with an order from the Sultan giving him the chief 
command, and Mehemet Ali was recalled to Constantinople. 
Suleiman was not, however, more successful here than he had 
been in his other enterprise, and the Russians stiU held their own 
on the Lom and the Jantra. 

A radical change now took place in the fortunes of the Todleboi*! 
si^e of Plevna. Todleben, who had won imspeakable glory at AppoJ»t- 
Sebastopol, was recalled from the retirement into which he had "*" 
been forced by the jealousy of the Slavs against a German to 
conduct the blockade of Plevna. Prince Charles of Roumania 
still remained in nominal charge of the western army, but the 
conduct of operations was left entirely to Todleben. He effected 
reforms in the command of the army : Skobelev was placed at the 
head of the sixteenth division, and Gourko was given control of 
all the cavalry of the western army. In order to raise the spirits 
and strengthen the moral tone of the men, a large niunber of 
promotions and decorations were distributed amongst those who 
had distinguished themselves. 

Osman, on his side, was not less busy with arrangements for Ogman't 
provisioning Plevna, and repairing the losses the troops had 
suffered. He saw that the object of the Russians was to cut his 
commimications and establish a complete blockade, and there- 
fore he utilised every opportunity to obtain food and forage. But 
he knew that his position was hopeless, and that if he remained 
at Plevna he would be either starved out or captured by an over- 
whelming force. It was almost impossible to preserve his connec- 
tion with Sofia, and therefore he asked permission to fall back 
on the Etropol Balkans, where he would be able to manoeuvre 
with freedom. But he received the answer, dictated by an 
ignorance of the situation and the art of war, that Plevna must 
t 289 







be held at all costs. It was not seen that Plevna was important 
only so far as it was a danger to the Russian communications, 
but that as soon as the investment was complete it would cease 
to effect these ends. The Sultan thought that Plevna had 
become a watchword of Tiurkish success in the eyes of Europe, 
and must, therefore, be held to the last. 

On the other hand, Todleben determined that no further attack 
should be made on the fortifications of Plevna, but that recourse 
should be had to blockade alone. For this purpose it was essential 
that he should receive every available man. The first necessary 
step was to cut communication between Plevna and Sofia, and 
to occupy the left bank of the Vid. This was committed to the 
competent hands of Gourko, who succeeded in efiFecting his object 
on November ist. A week later Skobelev occupied the Green 
Hill to the south of the town, and thus rendered the investment 
of the doomed fortress closer still. 

Indeed, matters were becoming desperate. In the middle of 
November it was necessary to put the beleaguered soldiers on half 
rations, and even this had to be reduced. By November 27th 
Osman came to the conclusion that his supplies would not last 
much more than a fortnight. There was no forage for the 
animals, no medicine or bandages for the sick and wounded; 
the men's clothing was in rags ; there was barely sufiicient food 
for cooking ; and the cold was intense. Osman heard of no 
preparations for his relief ; therefore, on December ist, he 
summoned a council of war, at which it was determined that 
an attempt should be made to break through the lines of invest- 
ment. The only side open to him was the west. In this 
direction he might hope to reach the Isker in one march, 
and then occupy Sofia and come into touch with the reUeving 
army which was assembling in the Etropol Balkans. He resolved 
to move at the end of the first week in December. 

Suleiman Pasha, who commanded the relieving force, had 
DUatoriMM. earned a great reputation by the rapidity and skill with which 
he had transferred his forces from Montenegro to Roumelia. But 
the command of the armies of the quadrilateral demanded quali- 
ties which he did not possess. His subordinates intrigued against 
each other and against him, and he was obliged to employ a large 
portion of his army in garrison duty. It was, therefore, some 
time before he could organise an attacking force such as could 
deliver a rapid and decisive blow against the enemy. He had 
an army of 14,000 men at Rustchuk, a field army of 40,000 
infantry, 3,000 cavalry, and iii guns, about 15,000 men at Eski- 




Djuma, 5,000 men at Osman Bazar, and about 30,000 men in 
other garrisons. He spent the whole of October and the greater 
part of November in comparative inactivity ; but towards tiie end 
of the latter month he was positively ordered to relieve Osman 
Pasha. He determined to attack the left flank of the Tsarevitch, 
who commanded the Russian forces, and destroy the bridge 
across the Danube which the Russians had constructed and 
which kept up their communications with Roumania. The attack 
entirely failed, the Turks losing some 1,200 men, the Russians 
about 700. Although Suleiman could have disposed of 75,000 
men, yet he only employed 25,000 for the attack, and the rest 
of his army was scarcely used at all. His operations showed no 
improvement in arrangement and cohesion. 

Having failed in his attempt to attack the left of the SiitolnMi*i 
Tsarevitch, Suleiman now turned his attention to his right, and ^^^ M«pt 
for this purpose collected about 30,000 men. He seized Elena 
and Slataritza and prepared to attack Timova ; had he succeeded 
in capturing this position, the Russians would probably have 
been compeUed to abandon the siege of Plevna. But he failed 
at the critical moment, and the opportunity was lost. The 
Russians regained the places they had lost, and the expedition 
collapsed. The captiure of Elena, however, was a masterly pro- 
ceedhig, and if Suleiman had persevered in his efforts on 
December 5th he would have been able to seize Timova. 

Another attempt to relieve Plevna was made by assembling Mthtmtt 
a force at Sofia under Mehemet Ali. He had returned to J^"^ . . 
Constantinople after handing his army over to Suleiman, as we s^u^Ye 
have seen, and was then directed to organise an army for the relief PieTna. 
of Osman. He got together about 30,000 infantry, 2,000 cavalry, 
and 36 guns, his reserve being placed under the orders of an 
Englishman, Valentine Baker, who had adhered closely to his 
fortunes. But his army had great elements of weakness; his 
arrangements for supply and transport were very defective, and 
there was Uttle concentration or solidarity in the force under 
his command. 

In the meantime Gourko had been very active. He recog- *•">»'■ 
nised that he could not achieve success by occupying a purely *^' 

defensive position, but that he must drive the Turks into western 
Bulgaria, south of the Balkans, and, if possible, secure the passes 
through them. Mehemet knew that he was not strong enough 
to meet Gourko in the open field, and contented himself with 
occupying the Balkan provinces for defence, making no serious 
effort to oppose the Russian advance in those districts which 





commanded the issues from Sofia into western Bulgaria. This 
showed that he had no immediate intention of relieving Osman, 
and that he must confine himself to covering Sofia. Gourko, 
however, pressed on, seized the northern end of the passes which 
led to Sofia, and held them, while Mehemet Ali was recaUed to 
Constantinople to prepare for the defence of the capital. 
Fallj>f We must now return to Osman. As we have already said, 

he had decided to begin his sorties on the night of December 
9th, a night on which the Turkish worl^ were covered 
with a thick fog, which enabled him to evacuate his position 
unobserved by the Russians. He had gradually slackened his 
fire during the three previous days, and entirely suspended it 
during the fourth, in order that the suspicions of the Russians 
might not be roused by any sudden cessation of the cannonade. 
His first division had crossed the Vid at 5 a.m. on December loth, 
but the convoy which followed it consisted of 1,000 vehicles and 
3,000 pack animals, and before half of it had got over, the 
Russians opened fire on the crowded and enctmibered bridge, 
and the presence of 150 Mohammedan famiUes with their goods 
and chattels added to the confusion. The Turks found them- 
selves exposed to a heavy artillery fire, both from the front and 
from enfilading batteries, so that the first division could not 
remain where it was, and the second division had not b^un 
to cross the Vid. Osman determined, therefore, to attack the 
Russian front, from which the artillery fire proceeded. The 
attack, however, being delivered across the open against a strongly 
entrenched position, failed, and Osman himself was wounded. 
The position of the first division grew desperate, and the second 
division did not appear. Shortly after noon the major part of 
the Turkish force found itself hemmed in between the Goritza 
and the Vid ; and Osman, finding further resistance useless, 
surrendered unconditionally with his whole army. This disaster 
was produced by the fatal decision of the Sultan not to permit 
the evacuation of Plevna in October. Osman had done his work 
well, and if in August there had been a Turkish general able to 
take advantage of the situation, the defeat of the Russian armies 
would have been assured. Osman, by his march from Widin, 
had nearly ruined the power of the Tsar, but the opportunity 
was lost. Osman's heroic defence had lasted six months, to the 
admiration of the world, and when the Tsar rode into the 
conquered city on the following day, at the side of his brother 
Nicholas — who had said to Osman, after the surrender, " It is 
one of the most splendid military events in history " — ^he returned 



his sword to the wounded hero and assigned him Charchov as 
a place of imprisonment. 

The fate of Plevna practically brought the whole campaign The Tiuto 
to an end. By the capture of Osman's army the whole of •^***'^*' 
Bulgaria north of the Balkans and west of the Kara Lorn, with 
the exception of Widin, was cleared of the Turks, the Russians 
being in possession of the principal passes across the Balkans, 
excepting their southern ends. It was decided to proceed with a 
winter campaign. Gourko's force was raised to 80,000 men, and 
Radetzky's to 70,000 at the Shipka Pass. On Januaiy 4th, 1878, 
Sofia was occupied by the Russians without opposition ; and 
on January 9th, by Skobelev's advance over the Shipka Pass, the 
Turks were surroimded and 30,000 men surrendered. Suleiman 
was preparing to oppose Gourko's advance between Phihppopolis 
and Sofia when he heard of the surrender of Shipka. He retired 
upon Adrianople, but, finding that he could not reach that city 
hefore Radetzky, took refuge in Macedonia, leaving a rearguard 
under the command of Fuad Pasha. Fuad detained Gourko for 
three days near Phihppopolis, but was finally driven into the 
mountains. The remains of Suleiman's army were collected on 
the coast and taken to Constantinople by sea. The Russians 
occupied Adrianople on January 22nd, without opposition, and 
on the last day of the month an armistice was signed which led 
to the Treaty of San Stefano. 

In the middle of December Servia began to join in the war, Twlny's 
and attacked Nish and Pirot in the south and Widin in the east. App«^ ^ 
The Greeks were forced to defend their frontiers against the wild *"****■• 
Tcherkesses, whom the Turks were unable to restrain. The latter 
were reduced to the last extremity, and there was a chance at last 
of their meeting with a fit punishment for their prolonged career 
of crime, but they addressed a circular to the Powers asking for 
intervention. Abdul Hamid wrote a personal appeal to Queen 
Victoria, which, to the disgrace of Great Britain, met with a 
favourable response. British traditional poUcy had always been 
to oppose Russia and support Turkey, a poUcy which is now 
considered to have been a serious error. It was imagined that the 
aggrandisement of Russia impUed danger to India, whereas wise 
statesmen ought to have seen that by depriving Russia of her 
natural growth towards the Mediterranean, and forcing her to 
Eastern conquest, instead of recognising her as the legitimate 
heir to the Byzantine Empire, they were compelling her to adopt 
a system of expansion which threatened to pass the barrier of the 




Britiih and GREAT BRITAIN and Austria had been waiting at the doors of 
luMan the congress house in the village of San Stefano in order to destroy 
Runtfa!^ ^ *^^ treaty between Russia and the Porte so soon as it was 
concluded. Jealousy and vindictiveness had been roused by 
the victories of Russia, and the two Powers had no doubt that 
the conditions of peace would be such as to excuse their passions 
and raise them to a higher pitch. Sincere, therefore, was the 
surprise at the moderation of the terms proposed; but Great 
Britain, at least, refused to be pacified, and the warlike spirit she 
had so laboriously evoked had got beyond her control. A council 
of the Crown had met in Vienna on February 24th, at which 
Andrassy had asked for a credit of 60,000,000 gulden, which was 
granted by the delegates on March 21st. This was rather with 
the view of lending emphasis to the policy of Austria than as a 
war loan. Indeed, the Minister announced that, in his opinion, 
the outstanding questions could be settled without war; he had 
no objections to the proposals about Bosnia and Herzegovina, 
but felt that he could not permit the creation of a large Bulgaria. 
Indeed, Ignatiev, the author of the treaty, took pains to spare 
the susceptibiUties of Austria by giving her a means of control 
on the west similar to that which Russia was reserving for herself 
on the east. 
Britain's But the attitude of Great Britain was very different. As we 

Ittitade. have already said, she climg closely to the arrangements of Paris 
in 1856, and demanded that the whole of the treaty should be 
submitted to the arbitrament of Europe. The Ministry obtained 
from Parliament a credit of £6,000,000, preparations for war were 
pursued with vigour, the reserves were called out, and the unusual 
step was taken of summoning Indian troops for active service 
in Europe, a measure of very doubtful legahty. Lord Stanley 
was placed at the War Office, and Gathome Hardy took the 
seals of the India Office, which had been left vacant by the 
transference of Lord Salisbury to the Foreign Ofl&ce. 

A circular note of the new Foreign Secretary, dated April ist, 
1878, explained Great Britain's position. He said that it had 



been recognised by the European Powers, including Russia, in 
the London Protocol of 1871, that no Power should set itself 
free from the obligation of a treaty, or alter its terms, without 
the consent of the other signatory Powers after a mutual exchange 
of views. The Treaty of San Stefano aiffected all the nations of 
south-eastern Europe ; the creation of a laige Bulgaria called 
into existence a powerful Slavonic State, under the auspices and 
control of Russia, on the shores of the Black Sea, and gave it the 
possession of a port on the iEgean, which would secure to it a 
powerful influence, both poUtical and commercial, over both 
waters. It was so composed that it would contain a consider- 
able niunber of Greeks, and the first rulers of the new State 
would be appointed by Russian influence and be supported by a 
Russian army. The separation of Constantinople from the Greek, 
Albanian and Slavic provinces, which still belonged to Turkey, 
would cause great difiiculties of administration, and threaten 
a condition of anarchy. The taking away of Bessarabia from 
Roimiania, the extension of Bulgaria to the shores of the Black 
Sea, which were chiefly inhabited by Russians and Greeks, and 
the acquisition of the barbour of Batomn would make Russia 
the predominant Power in these regions. Her influence would be 
further extended by the possession of the Armenian fortresses, 
and the trade which at that time existed between Trebizond and 
Persia would be seriously hindered by the prohibitive poUcy of 
Russia. The circular attacked other conditions of the treaty, 
especially the war indemnity to be paid by Turkey, declared that 
the general effect of the settlement was injurious to the peace of 
Europe, and demanded the serious attention of the Powers. 
Great Britain would have no objection to take part in a congress 
in which the whole matter could be discussed. 

This manifesto, based upon ignorance and prejudice, is a A Wi- 
discreditable event in British history. As we have said, the map «***Uble 
of the Balkan Peninsula distributed to members of ParUament 
was of a mendacious character. Reference to authoritative 
sources, such as Petermann's MiUeilungen, would have shown 
that the Bulgarians were the predominant Power in the peninsula 
and that the Greeks had no claim to consideration. Salisbiuy 
knew little or nothing about Bulgarian history, or the conditions 
on which alone a stable government could be erected. This 
circular rested on the mischievous attitude assumed by Beacons- 
field at the outset of his Ministry, when he was in dire need of a 
poUcy. Salisbury admitted afterwards that he was wrong ; but 
it is a poor reparation for a disastrous error to say some years 



TFOopi at 


of Typhni. 

and the 

afterwards that you " put your money on the wrong horse." 
Salisbury's dispatch was repUed to by Gortshakov on April 9th, 
in a document of moderate temper, full of sound argument and 
accurate knowledge, which was not listened to by the Jingo party. 

At the end of April and the beginning of May, 7,000 Indian 
troops, consisting of infantry, cavalry, artillery and sappers, were 
shipped from Bombay to Malta, and on May 13th the Queen held 
a review at Aldershot, and the world was given to understand 
that Great Britain could dispose of 70,000 European troops. 
Russia made some counter-preparations on her side, but it was 
doubtful whether she was in a condition to maintain a war against 
Great Britain, which would probably not have to fight alone. The 
command of her army was given to Todleben, who had returned 
from St. Petersburg, and Imershinsky was made Chief of the Staff. 

The condition of the Russian army in the Balkans was very 
bad ; the soldiers were corrupted by sickness, drunkenness and 
lack of discipline ; the earthworks were neglected ; and effective 
measures were needed to remedy these evils. The Russians 
received reinforcements, as well as the artillery which had been 
left behind in Roumania. Efforts were made to create a fleet 
by the purchase of ships in America, which might harass British 
commerce, and steps, which afterwards produced disastrous conse- 
quences, were taken to weaken the British Empire in India. 

The state of things in the Balkan Peninsula got worse and 
worse. Risings against the Turks took place in Thessaly, Epirus, 
Macedonia, Crete, the Rhodope Moimtains and Bosnia. The 
prisoners taken at Plevna had produced an outbreak of typhus 
in Roumania and Russia. In St. Petersburg, in March, there 
were no fewer than 3,747 cases of this disease. The malady even 
affected the doctors, of whom about 100 died, and nearly 
400 were attacked by the poison. The Russian Governor of 
Adrianople was carried off by the plague. In May there were 
70,000 men in hospital suffering from typhus and other diseases. 
A medical report stated that, from April ist, 1877, *^ October 
1st, 1878, whereas only 3,900 men of the Caucasian army had 
perished in the field, 9,871 had died of disease. Things in 
Constantinople were no better, the mosques and other pubhc 
buildings being crowded with fugitives. 

Bismarck was lying ill at his country house at Friedrichsruhe 
when the proposal for a congress of the Great Powers reached 
him in the spring of 1878. He did not, however, refuse to engage 
in it, partly from the desire that Germany should bear an 
honourable part in the conclusion of peace, partly from his 



personal regard for Alexander II., and partly from an awaken- 
ing of the old friendship between Germany and Russia, and 
declared that he was willing to undertake the office of mediator 
if asked to do so by Great Britain and Austria. On May 7th 
Skobelev, who was Russian Ambassador at London, and was very 
anxious for peace, travelled to St. Petersburg, visiting Bismarck 
both on the outward and the homeward journey. He returned 
to London on May 21st and signed, with Salisbury, an agreement 
on May 30th, which settled most of the points in dispute between 
the two coimtries. The points which it contained had reference 
to the extent of the new Bulgaria, to its division into two parts, 
one north, one south of the Balkans, one to be under the rule of 
a prince, the other under a Christian governor, appointed with 
the consent of the Powers for a period of five or ten years, with 
a large administrative independence, the Turkish troops being 
withdrawn from this province. Other subjects connected with 
Russian influence in Asia were touched upon in this lengthy 
document, which showed that the two contending Powers were 
able to come together without being absolutely of the same mind. 

At the same time it was announced that C}^rus had been Cyprnt ai a 
ceded to Great Britain by the Porte, Turkey remaining the 5^|^ 
suzerain Power and a tribute being paid to her. It was intended 
that this tribute should represent the profit which the Turkish 
Government made out of the island, but it now stands at an 
unreasonable amount, and the Cypriotes complain with reason 
of the sacrifices they have to make to produce a large sum which 
does not benefit them in the shghtest degree. The fixing of this 
tribute was settled at Constantinople by a commission, of which 
Sir Robert Biddulph, afterwards Governor of Cyprus, was a 
prominent member. The amount was fixed at £96,000, and 
included a large revenue derived from the Turkish Government 
through the sale of salt. But as soon as the convention was 
concluded the Turks prohibited the importation of salt from 
Cyprus at any of their ports, so that the island was encumbered 
with imsaleable salt. Another reason for fixing this tribute at 
so high a figure was that Great Britain had guaranteed the interest 
of a loan contracted by Turkey in the Crimean War, and the 
British Government thought that this was a convenient way of 
finding the money, so that Cyprus not only pays tribute, but 
suffers for the faults of her rulers. It is not easy to see why 
Lord Beaconsfield thought it worth while to acquire Cyprus. 
There may have been some idea of setting to Turkey the example 
of a well-governed commimity dose to her own shores, but when, 



in 1910, forty corpses of murdered Armenians were thrown up 
by the sea on the southern coast of the island, some of them those 
of little girls with their throats cut, it was too abominably evident 
that the example had been of Uttle value. A more probable 
explanation is to be found in the romantic temper of Lord 
Beaconsfield and the recollections of his early travels in the East. 
Biimarek ai On Jime 4th, 1878, a defensive alliance was signed between 
S**i!**^M°*** Sir Henry Layard and Safvet Pasha, providing that Great Britain 
^ ' should engage to assist Turkey in the event of any ill^al aggres- 
sions on the part of Russia, and that the Sultan in return 
should promise to introduce reforms in the administration of 
the provinces with regard to Christians and the other inhabitants. 
A curious condition was added that if, at any time, Russia should 
surrender Kars and the other conquests which she had made in 
Armenia, Great Britain should restore Cyprus to its former owners. 
Bismarck was now in a position to accept the official invitation 
to the congress, which was to open at Berlin on June 13th. He 
did this in a manner to conciliate all antagonisms, describing 
himself as an " honest broker," and, while not neglecting the 
interest of his own coimtry, he gained golden opinions by the skilful 
manner in which he averted impending war. This momentous 
congress was composed as follows : Germany was represented 
by Bismarck, Biilow, and the German Ambassador in Paris, 
Prince Hohenlohe-Schillingfiirst ; Andrassy, Karolyi and Hay- 
merle stood for Austria ; of the representatives of France, 
Waddington was the most important ; Great Britain had Beacons- 
field, Salisbury and Odo Russell ; Italy, Corti and De Launay ; 
Russia, Gortshakov, Skobelev and Ombril ; Turkey, Karatheo- 
dori Pasha, Mehemet Ali and Sedulah Bey. Bismarck was 
unanimously chosen president. 
The Con- The first sitting of the congress was devoted to the affairs of 

tfreu and Bulgaria. They were settled, not without considerable difiiculty, 
'^^*'*' by compromises arranged outside of the congress room. At the 
fourth sitting Salisbury proposed that the Balkans should be the 
southern boimdary of the new province, and that the province 
south of the Balkans should bear the name of Eastern RoumeUa ; 
but the important concession was made that the sanjak of Sofia, 
which lay south of the Balkans, should be given to Bulgaria for 
strategical reasons, in exchange for Varna, which remained in 
the hands of the Turks. Eastern Roumelia was to remain under 
the direct political and military control of the Sultan. Bulgaria 
was to be formed into an autonomous but tributary State, with 
a Christian govenunent and a national militia, its frontiers fixed 



on the spot by a European Commission. The Prince was to be 
elected by the people and confirmed by the Porte with the consent 
of the Powers, but no member of the reigning famiUes of the 
great Powers was eligible. Preparations for the election were to 
be made by an assembly of notables at Timova. There was to 
be complete religious toleration and equaUty with regard to the 
exercise of poUtical and other rights. Until the election of the 
Prince, the government was to be placed in the hands of a Russian 
Commission, assisted by a Turkish commissary and the consuls 
of the Powers, but this state of things was only to last nine 
months. The Turkish army was to leave the new principality 
within a year, all fortresses in existence were to be razed, and 
no new ones were to be erected. 

Eastern Roumelia was to possess administrative autonomy, Bastan 
but to remain under the political and military control of the Hoomtlta 
Sultan. The Sultan might construct fortresses for the defence ■•**'«»"^ 
of the Province, order was to be preserved by an international 
gendarmerie and a local militia, the officers to be appointed by 
the Sultan, but no Bashi-Bazouks or Tcherkesses were to be 
admitted to the frontier garrisons, nor were troops to be billeted 
on the inhabitants. The Governor had the right of summoning 
Turkish soldiers to his assistance if necessary, but for giving 
consent to this measure the Porte was answerable to the Powers. 
The Governor was nominated by the Porte, with the consent of 
the Powers, for five years. Until matters were definitely settled 
in the two provinces, they might be occupied by a Russian 
garrison, consisting of six divisions of infantry and two of 
cavalry ; but the whole nimiber was not to exceed 50,000 men, 
the cost of their maintenance being borne by the country they 

The settlement of Bulgaria and Eastern Roumeha occupied BoinU and 
the congress from Jime 17th to Jime 26th, but other questions ^^•"•i^^'*"** 
remained for discussion which concerned Bosnia, Montenegro, 
Servia, Roumania, the Danube, the Straits, and the war 
indemnity. The question of Bosnia and Herzegovina was taken 
in hand at the eighth sitting, and was a matter in which Austria 
was particularly interested. It originated in disturbances which 
had arisen in these countries, and the ill-feeling between Christians 
and Mohammedans was by no means allayed. Turkey was 
powerless to restore order ; at least 200,000 inhabitants had left 
the country, and Austria had spent in the last three years at 
least 2,000,000 gulden in their maintenance. Lord SaUsbury 
proposed that the occupation and government of Bosnia and 



• » 





Ofmm and 

Herzegovina should be entrusted to Austria. This was supported 
by Bismarck, but strongly opposed by Karatheodori Pasha, upon 
which Bismarck emphatically reminded the representatives of 
Turkey that the congress had not met to preserve the int^[rity 
of the Turkish frontier, but to safeguard the future peace of 
Europe. The only alternative to the conclusions of the congress 
was the Treaty of San Stefano, and Eastern Roumelia was far 
better worth having than Bosnia. The Turks yielded, and Bosnia 
and Herzegovina were secured to Austria, with the exception of 
the sanjak of Novi Bazar, which was retained by Turkey. 

Servia became independent, under the conditions of absolute 
religious equality, responsibiUty for portion of the Turkish debt, 
and an extension of territory which increased the population by 
506,934 inhabitants; 

The traveller arriving at Orsova after a night journey from 
Buda Pest finds himself in a new world. In front are the hills 
of Servia, to his left the Carpathians of Roiunania, while the noble 
Danube is divided by the little Turkish island which diplomacy 
has been obliged to leave in the hands of that Power. Up the 
stream is the defile of Kazan, with the proud inscription of Trajan 
and the remains of his road, and down the stream is the passage 
of the Iron Gate, now free from rocks and available for trafiic, 
one of the most beneficent acts of the Treaty of Berlin ; but the 
current of the Danube is still so strong that the steamer which 
threads its rapids in three minutes on its downward course takes 
twenty minutes to accomphsh the ascent. A Uttle way below 
are the remains of Trajan's bridge. The day may come when 
this exulting and abounding river may bear upon its waters a 
similar traffic to that which makes the Rhine so interesting to 
the thoughtful traveller, though it may also have become less 
attractive to the artist. 

Two representatives of Greece, Delyannis and Rangab^, were 
admitted to the ninth sitting, at which they proposed the annexa- 
tion of Crete and a rectification of their northern frontier. After 
some discussion the representatives of Roumania were allowed 
to attend the tenth meeting of the congress, held on July ist. 
The burning question was the cession of Bessarabia to Russia. 
Greece was not treated so well, and the frontier disputes between 
herself and Turkey were not settled till 1881, when she received 
a slight readjustment of her northern frontiers. Crete belongs 
by every right to Greece, and would have been annexed to her 
territory when her kingdom was constituted had it not been for 
the prejudice and obstinacy of Wellington ; but it was left in 



the hands of the Porte, with the usual promise of reform, readily 
given because never meant to be kept. 

Monten^^ro was declared independent under the condition of MontaiMgro 
absolute religious equaUty. She received an accession of terri- {^^J^. 
tory, which contained about 50,000 inhabitants and included the ^ " 
important harbour of Antivari, which was a necessity to her 
existence. Dulcigno was given to Turkey, Spizza to Dalmatia. 
Montenegro obtained the right to navigate the shores of the 
Adriatic, but might not keep ships of war or have a war flag. 
Antivari and, indeed, all Roumanian waters were closed to 
warships of all nations. The martial policing of Monten^o was 
to be exercised by Austria, and Austrian consuls were to protect 
Roumanian commerce. Monten^pro took upon herself responsi- 
bility for a certain amoimt of the Montenegrin debt. 

July 6th was occupied by a very important session, in which WMwtoM^ 
the relations of Russia to her Asiatic conquests were discussed. J* ^ 
Here Russia and Great Britain foimd themselves in direct opposi- •^™' 
tion, Russia claiming accessions of territory as part paymeDt of 
the war indemnity. Great Britain, with her antiquated, narrow- 
minded pohcy, doing her best to retain all she could in the 
demoralising and corrupting hands of Turkey. Bismarck had 
great difficulties in keeping the peace, and it is said that Beacons- 
field had a special train waiting for him in the station, ready to 
depart for England if matters did not turn out in accordance 
with his wishes. Happily the controversies were arranged, and 
Gortshakov gave utterance to his views on the arrangement in 
language which it is worth while to reproduce. 

" Thanks," he remarked, " to the spirit of conciliation and 0«ptihako¥ 
reciprocal concessions, of which 1 can conscientiously claim a ^JrV 
laige part for Russia, the work of the congress has moved to its 
end, that of a peace which is in the interests of the whole of 
Europe, and which will be worthy of the eminent men assembled 
at Berlin. Two days' sitting has been devoted to a question, the 
solution of which has been found to be an equitable arrangement, 
removed from petty passions, which wiU crown the work which we 
have in hand. We make the concession of Erzerum, of Ba}razid 
and of the valley of Alaskand, those two last points covering 
the passage of caravans and the principal commercial route into 
Persia. I am also authorised to declare that my illustrious master 
is disposed, in his Sovereign power, to decku-e Batoum a free 
port, a concession to the material interests of all commercial 
nations, and especially of Great Britain, which has the largest 
commerce in the world. In conclusion, I must express the hope 





The Final 

A Cnrioiit 

of a Map. 

** Peace with 

that, in the sitting of to-day, we shall have made an immense step 
towards the exalted object of our meeting." 

This statement of the Russian representative was received 
with applause, begun by Bismarck and continued by Salisbury. 
It was then officially annoimced that the Porte surrendered to 
Russia in Asia the territories of Arabashan, Kars and Batoum, 
with its harbours, while the Tsar's offer to make Batoum a free 
commercial port was gratefully accepted. 

On July 23rd the twentieth and last sitting of the congress 
was held. Andrassy solemnly thanked Bismarck for the untiring 
energy with which he had conducted the business of the congress, 
and expressed the hope that its work might be lasting, and that 
the friendly relations between the Powers might strengthen and 
confirm the general feeling of friendship which existed between 
the Governments that had taken part in it. 

The effect of the Treaty of Berlin has certainly not tended 
to increase the influence of Russia in the Balkan Peninsula. 
Bulgaria has proved rather a barrier to Russian progress than a 
door, while Roumania has flourished imder a German Prince. 
There is no reason to beUeve that the Treaty of San Stefano, had 
it been duly sanctioned, would have been any more favourable 
to Russian ambition, whereas, in many respects, it would have 
been a better and more durable arrangement than the Treaty of 
BerUn. Still, the occasion was very dramatic, for the meeting 
of such remarkable personages as Beaconsfield and Bismarck lent 
distinction to any assembly. It was said by some that Beacons- 
field was the most remarkable figure at the congress, because he 
had the force of Great Britain at his back. A strange story is 
also told about the concessions made by Russia. It is alleged 
that Gortshakov had brought with him from St. Petersburg a 
map on which was carefully marked the utmost territory which 
Russia would ask for, and the least which she would accept, and 
that when the British plenipotentiaries asked for a map to give 
them information about coimtries with which they were very 
httle acquainted, this map was lent to them by Gortshakov. 
Their task, therefore, became easy, as they had nothing to do but 
ask for what they knew the Russians were willing to surrender. 

Beaconsfield and SaUsbury returned to London on July i6th, 
when the Treaty of Berlin was laid before Parliament. They 
were received with tumultuous rejoicings, and Beaconsfield made 
a speech to the crowd, telling them that he brought back " peace 
with honour," a somewhat exaggerated statement of the case. 
In his speech in the House of Lords he apologised for having 



ceded Sofia, which was south of the Balkans, to Bulgaria, but 
asserted that between Sofia and the valley of the Maritza lay 
the watershed of the Ikhtiman Pass, and that this was entirely 
in the possession of Eastern Roumelia. He ought to have known 
that the Ikhtiman Pass was no barrier at all to anyone attack- 
ing Adrianople from Sofia, and that not only was the pass 
itself given to Bulgaria by the treaty, but that the town of 
Ikhtiman was never evacuated by Bulgarian soldiers. He went 
on to speak of Greece as an interesting coimtry with a future, 
which could afiord to wait. With such levity and lack of know- 
ledge were such momentous interests treated that letters in the 
public press drawing attention to misstatements passed entirely 
without notice. 

Gladstone's criticism of this treaty was pronounced on July OUditoM 
30th. He pointed out that Servia, Montenegro and Roumania, JJI;^** 
which made war upon Tiurkey in reUance upon Russia, were "••*'^' 
rewarded with independence and an increase of territory, while 
Greece, which kept quiet and trusted Great Britain, received 
nothing. The action of the congress, which was to deal with the 
Treaty of San Stefano as a whole, was invaUdated by the 
agreement with Russia and the Anglo-Turkish Convention which 
preceded it. The convention was an abuse of the prerogative 
of the Crown, made behind the back of Parliament. By it Great 
Britain had rendered herself responsible for Turkish poUcy, 
Turkish judicature, and Turkish finance, and for the corruption 
which paralysed them. 

But this weighty indictment did not prevent the two Ministers BaaeoBt- 
from being the heroes of the hour, from receiving the freedom of Jjjf^^*!^ 
the City of London, and from paying a tribute to the character of *TO"'"*™'1^* 
the Sultan, who had imposed a chatge of ;^2,5oo,ooo upon the nation 
as the cost of a poUcy which is now universally repudiated. With 
all his claims to be the champion of Imperialism, Beaconsfield 
threw away at Berlin the chance of acquiring Egypt, which was 
offered to him by Bismarck, not as plunder of the Turks, but in 
the best interests of Europe. The Minister refused it on the 
ground that it would violate the principle of the int^rity of the 
Turkish Empire. There is no stronger condemnation of his poUcy 
than the condition of Egypt imder British rule at the present 
time. To pass from Syria to Egypt is to pass from barbarism to 
civilisation. The foundations of civilisation are the security of 
Ufe and property, but under Turkish rule it is dangerous to walk 
alone at night in the streets of Beyrout, Haifa or Jaffa, and to 
exhibit any signs of wealth is a direct incentive to its being taken 


forcibly {rem you. In Cairo and Alexandria an English lady may 
go anywhere without being molested, and the magnificent palaces 
of pashas which fill the streets testify to the security vdth which 
wealth may be acquired and displayed. 
fbHiM of If we look back over the years that have passed since the 
*• ^••^y- conclusion of the Treaty of Berlin we see that it has not settled the 
question which calls for settlement now as it did then, and which 
can only be solved by the expulsion of the Turks from Europe. It 
has not secured the peace of the Balkan Peninsula nor the 
proper treatment of the Christians whom it left under Turkish 
rule. It has been violated by almost every Power that signed it, 
among others by Turkey, Russia, Austria, Roumania, Bulgaria and 
Monten^o. Two wars have followed it, neither of which need 
have taken place had the Treaty of San Stefano been adopted. 
Its effect has not been wholly bad, because some portions of the 
earth's surface, such as Bosnia, Herzegovina and Bulgaria are 
better off than before ; but this was due to Russian self-sacrifice 
rather than to British diplomacy. The whole story of the treaty 
enforces the melancholy reflection that the world, after all, is 
governed with very little wisdom. 


DI8BA£U*8 MlHISTRY— 1874-80 

In the second Ministry of Disraeli the Conservatives found them- Con- 
selves in office, but not in power. Probably they had been iw^atte" 
returned because the country felt that it needed rest after a long 
period of legislative activity ; all political energy is foUowed by 
an interval of repose, if not of reaction. The leaders of commerce, 
who had been on the Liberal side since the time of Lord Liverpool, 
were becoming Conservative from fear of the support given by 
the Liberals to trade unions and the working man. Beaconsfield 
was looked upon by the solid mercantile interests as their 
protector against adventurous innovation — a strange fate to 
befall a Jew, the Young Englander of the 'forties and the author 
of brilliant novels. 

The Queen's commands to form a Ministry were given to DimMll't 
Disraeli on February i8th, 1874, and he had no difficulty in doing CaWMt 
so. Lord Cairns, a dignified and even majestic lawyer, who was 
something also of a statesman, was made Lord ChanceUor ; the 
Duke of Richmond, a respected peer of moderate ability, was 
President of the Coimcil and leader of the House of Lords ; Lord 
Derby was Secretary for Foreign Affairs; Lord Salisbury took 
the India Office ; Lord Carnarvon, a distinguished scholar and 
man of letters, watched over the Colonies ; Sir Stafford North- 
cote, who had been trained in the school of Gladstone, became 
Chancellor of the Exchequer ; Gathome Hardy was Secretary of 
War ; and Lord John Manners, afterwards Duke of Rutland, who 
had been, with DisraeU, one of the leaders of the Young England 
party, was made Postmaster-General. The Home Office was 
given to Richard Assheton Cross, an excellent man of business, 
who looked after the Queen's money affairs with singular tact 
and judgment ; and WiUiam Henry Smith, the creator of the 
railway bookstall business, famous for good sense and int^[rity, 
was made Financial Secretary to the Treasury. 

This powerful Ministry was confronted with a weak Opposi- 
tion, who were dissatisfied with themselves. The Nonconformists, 
who were the great support of the Liberal Party, disliked the 
Education Act, and the trade unions desired the repeal of 






Bait and 
Home Role* 


Lord Aberdeen's Act against conspiracy. Many Liberals could 
not forgive Gladstone for his sudden dissolution of Parliament, 
which took them by surprise, when they thought that they ought 
to have been consulted, and cost many of them their seats. If 
he had such faith in the virtues of his promised budget, he ought, 
the dissentients urged, to have had the courage to produce it. 
Gladstone was also himself weary of discussions, which he had 
so much diflftculty in controlling, and wished to resign the leader- 
ship of his party, but offered to retain the post for a year, on 
the condition that he should attend the House only when it 
suited his convenience, and this arrangement was accepted. The 
consequence was that the session of 1874 passed quietly. Brand 
was re-elected Speaker, and the only measure mentioned in the 
Queen's Speech was one to amend the Licensing Act of 1872. 

Much interest was felt among Gladstone's friends as to 
what Stafford Northcote would do with the budget. Gladstone's 
splendid finance gave the incoming Government a surplus of 
j(6,ooo,ooo, and the new Chancellor took the opportimity of taking 
a penny off the income tax and abolishing the duty on sugar. 
Gladstone had promised, if returned to power, to abolish the 
income tax altogether. Northcote reduced it to twopence, a 
sum which Gladstone slwBys afl&rmed was not worth collecting ; 
but of course, in the circumstances, to abolish it altogether was 

Home Rule for Ireland, which was to occupy a foremost place 
in British poUtics for many years to come, now began to make 
its appearance. Isaac Butt, who brought forward an annual 
motion in its favour, was now given two nights to debate the 
subject, and was found to have fifty-eight Irish members — ^more 
than half the members for Ireland— on his side, a significant fact 
as a prelude to the time when the Irish demand for Home Rule 
would become almost unanimous. A Church Patronage Bill for 
Scotland, to abolish private patronage for livings in that country, 
was passed, notwithstanding Gladstone's opposition. The powers 
of the Endowed Schools Committee, from which England might 
have expected an organised system of secondary education, were 
transferred to the Charity Commissioners, certainly a retrograde 
step, as it slackened the spirit of reform ; but other provisions of 
a sectarian character were happily averted. 

The Public Worship Regulation Act, which established a new 
court for dealing with refractory clergymen, was an attempt to 
arrest the advance of RituaUsm. It was vigorously opposed by 
Gladstone, who was a strong High Churchman. Freedom, he 



urged, was better than discipline ; leaden uniformity was spiritual 
death. Parliament should never forget the services of the clergy 
in an age which was, beyond all others, luxurious, selfish and 
worldly. He proposed an alternative to the measure, but he met 
with no support. This, however, was his last conflict, and in the 
first weeks of 1875 he retired from the leadership of the Liberal 
Party, against the wishes of his wife and of the majority of his 
friends. He desired, he said, to place a quiet interval between 
Parliament and the grave. But who was to be his successor ? 
The choice lay between Lord Hartington and Forster. Hartington 
was chosen, and thus began a career, continued as Duke of 
Devonshire, of devoted and unremitting work. Besides other 
reasons for choosing him, it was felt that he would more easily 
make room for Gladstone if he should be willing to return. 

In 1875 the leader of the Opposition had an easy task, as the The 
new Government were not friends of energetic legislation. The ro"Mon 
budget presented no novelties beyond the establishment of a ■"*• 
sinking fund, the object of which was to reduce the National Debt 
by ;f200,ooo,ooo in thirty years. But Tory extravagance and 
Beaconsfield's adventurous policy soon rendered this illusory. 
The Home Secretary did something to secure English tenants in 
the holding of their land, to improve the dwellings of artisans 
and the relations of employers and workmen. A notable step 
was made for the security of navigation by the establishment of 
the Plimsoll mark, now so prominently shown on all ships, 
indicating the depth beyond which a ship must not be loaded. It 
was carried by the vehemence of its author, Samuel PlimsoD, who, 
standing in the middle of the floor of the House, denounced the 
ship-knackers, who, by a nefarious system of over-insurance, 
made fortunes out of drowned men. 

Activity was also displayed by the Colonial Office. Fiji was Goloaial 
occupied, to save it from the rapacious immorality of unprincipled '•l*^* 
beach-combers, and, in the case of the Kafir chief, Langalibalele, 
who had been treated with undue severity by the Natal Govern- 
ment, Lord Carnarvon showed that he could brave opinion in 
the exercise of humanity and public spirit. He attempted the 
federation of South Africa, which has been carried out in our own 
day. South Africa then consisted of three British colonies — 
Cape Colony, Natal, and Griqualand West — ^with two Dutch 
Republics on its frontiers — ^the Transvaal and the Orange Free 
State. Carnarvon wished to include these in his scheme, for 
unless they were included federation would be a vain dream. But 
his tact was not equal to his enthusiasm. He proposed a confer- 



ence at Cape Town, but excited opposition by stating the names 
of the del^ates who were to attend it. He chose the historian 
Froude, who was more indiscreet and less cautious than the 
Minister who sent him. He made a worse blunder by attempting 
to remove the seat of the conference from Cape Town to London. 
The disastrous award of MacMahon gave Delagoa Bay to Portugal, 
although it was the natiural outlet of the Transvaal to the sea. 
of On November 26th, 1875, the Prime Minister executed by a 
masterstroke one of the most fortunate and most sensational 
pieces of business which have ever occurred in British history. 
He bought, for the price of £4,000,000, the shares in the Suez 
Canal which had belonged to the Khedive of Egypt. The idea was 
suggested by the astuteness of Mr. Frederick Greenwood, the 
editor of the Pall Mall Gazette, but it was DisraeU who recog- 
nised the importance of it and had the courage to carry it out. 
The state of Turkey, the suzerain Power of Eg)^t, was desperate. 
In October she had confessed her inability to pay more than ten 
shillings in the pound, and the British Government had refused 
to assist those who had lost their money on bad security. The 
Khedive, Ismail Pasha, spent on his own pleasures the money 
which came to him from the oppression of his subjects, and was 
driven to sell the shares which had been assigned him in the 
French company which opened the Canal ; for, although the canal 
was more largely used by Great Britain than by any other nation, 
and the closing of it would bar the way to India, yet she had 
no voice in its management. It was, therefore, exceptionally 
fortimate that the British Government was enabled to gain the 
position which it might have held from the first if only the 
sanction of Lord Palmerston had allowed it, while the possession 
of a Prime Minister gifted with imagination enabled xis to take 
advantage of the deal. 
A Baooeiifiil It is significant to reflect that the Foreign Secretary, Lord Derby, 
*■*•'?'*■•• and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir Stafford Northcote, 

were opposed to the purchase. The Chancellor said in the House 
that he had rather the Khedive had kept the shares, that the 
Government had acted in self-defence, and that he did not object 
to the canal being mainly imder French control. Even Gladstone 
made a feeble attack upon the measure. But the good sense and 
patriotism of the English people supported the Minister. DisraeU 
was able to say both with force and truth that if Gladstone had 
been in office the shares would have been purchased by France. 
The success of the enterprise far exceeded the hopes of its 
promoters, and the possession of the shares has brought many 



millions into the British Exchequer and strengthened the hold 
upon the gate of India. The purchase of the shares made it 
desirable to inquire more fully into the financial condition of 
Egypt, and Stephen Cave, an able financier, was sent out to 
report. He said that Egypt was suffering from the ignorance, 
dishonesty, waste and extravagance of the East, such as had 
already brought Turkey to the verge of ruin, and also from the 
expense caused by the hasty and ill-considered endeavours to 
adopt the civilisation of the West. The report led to the sending 
out of a joint commission, French and British, and the placing of 
Egyptian revenue imder two Controllers-General, one British and 
the other French, which did not prove to be a success. 

At the beginning of 1876 DisraeU was at the height of his impirt of 
power. In the winter the Prince of Wales had made a tour bdbu 
through India, and this fact, coupled with other considerations, 
induced the Prime Minister to introduce into Parliament a Royal 
Titles Bill, which granted to the Queen the right to assume by 
proclamation any new title which she might think fit to adopt. 
It was generally known that the object of the measure was to give 
the Queen the title of Empress of India. The proposition excited 
a good deal of ridicule, but the proposal reaUy emanated from 
the serious and not the theatrical side of DisraeU's nature, and it 
is conceivable that a grandiose title may have an advantage in 
the governance of the country to which it refers. 

Disraeli is generally credited with having introduced the DiiFaall 
spirit of Imperialism into British poUtics, and the behef that he lmp«riallgiiL 
did so accounts for his extraordinary popularity, which has 
followed him after his decease. There are two- opinions on the 
matter. Some think that he possessed powerful convictions on 
the position which ought to be held by the British monarchy; 
others that he was an opportunist, and that, coming into office 
imexpectedly and without a cry, he clutched at the first idea 
which presented itself, and took up the line of opposing Russia 
and exalting the predominant power of Great Britain in all parts 
of the world. The latter opinion, which is held by persons who 
knew him well, seems the more probable. He had nothing but 
contempt for the British Constitution, which he was never tired 
of comparing with that of Venice, with its phantom Doge, its 
subservient people, and its predominant aristocracy. He cared 
too little for certain features of the body poUtic to attempt to 
reform the abuses that had grown up in them, and he knew 
that if they were reformed it would not be in the direction of 
which he would approve. His object was to maintain the 





supremacy of the Tory Party, of which he was the faithful 
servant, and he was ready to employ any means to that end. 

At the same time, he determined to treat the Queen in a different 
manner from that which Gladstone had adopted. Gladstone, 
although personally devoted to the monarchy and to the noble 
woman who held the throne, was unfortunate in the manner he 
assiuned to the Queen, who, as we have already said, complained 
that he addressed her as if she were a public meeting. ' He opposed 
her visits to Scotland and absence from the centre of affairs at the 
time of political crisis. A man well acquainted with the correspond- 
ence which passed upon this topic describes it as one in which the 
Minister had gone as far as a subject could, and the Queen farther 
than a Sovereign ought. Gladstone was too proud and too clumsy 
to conciliate the Queen's humble friends, who exercised great 
influence over her and for whom she felt a deep affection. Disraeh, 
on the other hand, did not hesitate to conciliate them. 

Nothing is more noticeable than the change which came over 
the Queen's feelings towards this remarkable man. The Prince 
Consort did not like him, and the Queen shared his judgment. 
In the early days of their association Disraeli gave the Queen 
a magnificently boimd collection of his works, with a fulsome 
inscription. The Queen, instead of keeping them in her own 
apartments, sent them to her pubhc library, where it was not 
likely she would ever see them again. But in later years Disraeli 
became one of her most trusted friends, and at the end of her hfe 
she himg over the two contiguous doors which led to her private 
apartments in Windsor Castle the portraits of SaUsbury and 
Beaconsfleld. The Queen undoubtedly liked the new title. She 
always signed herself " Victoria R. and I.," and in India, at the 
banquets of the Viceroy and other great officers, the toast of the 
King-Emperor is dnmk with enthusiasm and is followed by 
the strains of the National Anthem. Lord Lytton, a man of 
exuberant ability and vivid imagination, was sent to India to 
inaugurate the new Imperial policy, and the proclamation of 
the Queen-Empress took place under his auspices at Delhi, on 
January ist, 1877. 
Barl of We have already given an accoimt of the events in the East 

BMooBgield. which culminated in the Treaty of Berlin. DisraeU's last speech 

in the House of Commons was made on the subject on August 
nth, 1876, when he said that the nation's duty at that critical 
moment was to uphold the Empire of Great Britain, by which he 
apparently meant the Empire of Turkey. Next day the papers 
announced that he had been created Earl of Beaconsfleld. In 



this position he emphasised more strongly than before his opposi- 
tion to Russia and his intention to adopt an Imperial policy. At 
the Lord Mayor's banquet, on November gth, he made a speech 
in the Guildhall which shook the confidence of the world, much 
as the speech of Napoleon III., to which we have already referred, 
had done on January ist, 1859. What, it was asked, did this ill- 
omened oration portend ? The Emperor of Russia had consented 
to a congress, the object of which was peace, but these attacks 
drove him into war. 

The session of 1877 witnessed some measures of beneficent Fipft 
but rather feeble legislation, and the first appearance of Charles 
Stewart Pamell, a young Irish landlord, bom of an American '*»■•"• 
mother. He was educated by a private tutor in England, and 
had made himself conspicuous in early Ufe by an ambition to set 
the fashion in personal attire. As a passionate Home Ruler, he 
determined to adopt a more aggressive and more mihtant attitude 
than that of Butt, and diligently studied the rules of the House, 
with the view of obstructing the operation of the British 
Parliament if he could not obtain for Ireland a Parliament 
of her own. He was assisted by Mr. J. G. Biggar, a vigorous 
but imcouth man, who was httle understood and who was fond 
of stating that his great ambition in life was to be an English 
clergyman. Pamell began by obstructing the business of Supply 
by dilatory motions, although he had only a few colleagues to 
support him. He succeeded in getting suspended from the service 
of the House, but the evil went on unchecked. 

If the advent of Pamell heralded the troubles of Home Rule, ■■■■Jf^fttifw 
the annexation of the Transvaal in April, 1877, was a step towards ^ *fc* 
the South African War. The Dutch farmers who wished to escape **■"••>• 
from the control of British government had formed the Republic 
of the Transvaal in 1852, and, by proclamation, this was now 
annexed to the British Empire by Sir Theophilus Shepstone. It 
was tme that the finances of the country were in a desperate 
condition, that the mineral wealth concealed in the hills was 
entirely unknown, that the inhabitants were not able to hold 
their own against the attacks of the surrounding natives. 
Burgers, the President, advised the Boers to submit to the British 
Government, as the RepubUcan Constitution had broken down 
and their taxes could not be collected. The Transvaal Parlia- 
ment did not agree with him, and two delegates, one of whom 
was Paul Kruger, were sent to England to show cause against 
the annexation. But the Government insisted, and the Liberal 
Party did not oppose, although some courageous statesmen, such 




as Leonard Courtney and Henry Fawcett, did their best to 
prevent it. 

Another measure of importance belonging to this year was the 
appointment of a commission to investigate the affairs of the 
Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. University conmiissions 
are neither very popular nor very useful. It is much better that 
the Universities should reform themselves than that they should 
be tampered with from outside by persons who understand very 
Uttle about the matter. The commission now established did a 
certain amount of good, but not so much as was anticipated. 
Some clerical restrictions were abohshed, fellows were allowed to 
marry, and a certain amoimt of money was given by the colleges 
to the University. The intention had been to transfer the greater 
part of teaching from the colleges to the University and establish 
a large scheme for the endowment of research. But this proved 
an entire failure. It has been foimd that in every department, 
even in Natural Science, the colleges do much better work than 
the University. A further step was taken to give the franchise 
to agricultural labourers, which was eventually effected by the 
Reform Bill of 1880. George Trevelyan's annual resolution on this 
subject was this year supported by Lord Hartington as leader 
of the Opposition, but the motion was, nevertheless, defeated, 
Lowe and Goschen being opposed to the measure. The year 
1878 was taken up with the Treaty of Berlin and with the Zulu 
and Afghan troubles, which will be treated of later. 

We will now take a smnmary view of Beaconsfield's Imperial 
H^tlailoiii. policy. Lord Northbrook had resigned the office of Viceroy 

because he could not agree with the proposal to ask the Amir of 
Afghanistan to receive a British Resident at Cabul ; but Lord 
Lytton, who succeeded him, did not mind whether he offended the 
Amir or not. Russia had made large advances in Central Asia 
during the last four years, and Gladstone was inclined to enter 
into direct negotiations with the Tsar in order to avoid difficulties 
for the future. Beaconsfield preferred to use British influence with 
the Afghans in order to counteract Russian influence with the 
Turkomans. Lytton, therefore, sent Shere Ali, the Amir, a letter 
announcing his appointment as Viceroy and the Queen's assump- 
tion of the title of Empress of India ; he also asked the Amir 
to receive a British Agent, Sir Lewis Pelly, and discuss with him 
matters that might be in dispute. The Amir replied that he 
preferred to send to India a confidential agent of his own. Lytton 
considered this answer disrespectful, and refused to receive Shere 
Ali's messenger, and intimated that if the Amir did not receive 


The lll^aB 



Sir Lewis Pelly, his country would be treated as a State 
which had virtually isolated itself from the alliance of the 
British Government. This. was almost equivalent to a threat of 
war, and was strongly objected to by members of the Indian 
Council. The Amir repUed that, in his opinion, no Englishman 
would be safe at Cabul, and that if he received a British he must 
also receive a Russian agent, but that he wanted neither. 
On December 8th Quetta was occupied, which gave the Indian 
Government control of the Bolan Pass into Afghanistan. This 
frightened the Amir still more, and a letter of L3rtton's, dated 
March 3rd, 1877, which told him that he could no longer depend 
upon the support of the British Government, turned him into 
an active foe. 

Whilst these things were happening Bombay and Madras !«« 
were oppressed by a cruel famine, which taxed all the resources of 
the Administration. In the spring of 1878 the movement of 
Indian troops to Malta was met by the dispatch of a Russian 
mission to Cabul. Lytton expected war with Russia, and thought 
that this would be a favoiurable opportunity for disintegrating 
Afghanistan, though, by restraining the vernacidar Press in India, 
he deprived himself of the best means of ascertaining public 
opinion in that country. The object of the Russian envoy at 
Cabul was to embroil the Amir with Great Britain. In this he 
completely succeeded, Lytton walking into the trap with apparent 
readiness. He argued for the rectification of the north-western 
boundaries — a " scientific frontier," as it was called in those days 
— consisting of the range of the Hindu Kush and its spurs, with 
such outposts as might be necessary to secure the passes. This 
was strongly opposed by Henry Fawcett and all who were best 
acquainted with India. Amongst these was Lord Lawrence, 
who wrote a number of weighty letters to The Times deprecating 
a forward poUcy. Even the Cabinet hesitated and, when L3rtton 
proposed that Shere Ah should be dethroned and his government 
broken up, refused to support the Viceroy. 

On November 9th, however, at the Guildhall, in London, oiadstooa 
Beaconsfield denounced these cautious waverings as the " hair- wid tiM 
brained chatter of irresponsible frivolity," and defended the scien- ^<**** *•*• 
tific frontier as the voice of security and truth. In the meantime 
war had broken out and was powerfully denounced by Gladstone. 
The war foimd many supporters in the Upper House, including 
six bishops ; but in the House of Commons the poUcy that pro- 
voked it was pulverised by Gladstone and Hartington. The 
latter said : "It is we, and we alone, who drive the Afghans 



into the arms of Russia ; whatever else may be done, the present 
Viceroy of India should be recalled. We have seen him imitat- 
ing at Delhi the fallen state of the Mogul Empire ; we see him 
fidgeting about the harmless eccentricities of the Indian Press ; 
we now see him addressing the envoy of a puzzled and frightened 
sovereign in terms which seem to be borrowed partly from a 
lawyer's letter, partly from a tale in the Arabian Nights." 
Stafford Northcote, who rephed, felt no enthusiasm for the cause 
he was defendmg. But Jingoism was rampant and the voice 
of truth and reason was hushed for a time. All this contention 
was carried on with a faUing exchequer. The state of trade was 
deplorable, and the failure of the City of Glasgow Bank for 
£6,000,000 had paralysed enterprise in Scotland. Taxes had been 
raised, wages reduced, and the splendour of Imperialism coruscated 
against a background of gloom. 
Bftrtie A cartoon in Punch respecting the heavy burden which John 

Ftcm and Bull had to bear represented a naked Zulu jumping on the tail 
CtfUwBjo. ^£ ^Yie patient British lion with the words, " Just room enough for 
me." Sir Bartle Frere was to South Africa what Lytton was to 
India. He had formed the opinion that the power of Cetewayo, 
the King of the Zulus, who was establishing a strong military 
government, ought to be crushed, and sent him, even against the 
opinion of the Colonial Office, an ultimatiun threatening war. 
The results of this disastrous war will be related in another 
Tory In 1879 the expenses of Imperialist adventure had not only 

W'lf'M^ squandered the magnificent surplus which had been accumulated 
by the genius of Gladstone, but had caused deep and disastrous 
depression. Stafford Northcote was afraid to impose more taxes, 
but preferred to live upon his capital by contracting loans. The 
Zulu War cost 1^4,500,000, and depression extended to agriculture 
for the first time since the repeal of the Com Laws. Remon- 
strance went so far that the Government appointed a Royal 
Commission, with a Cabinet Minister at its head, to investigate the 
condition of farm labourers, the law and practice of agricultural 
tenure, the importation of agricultural produce, and the state 
of agricultural knowledge, Ireland being included in the inquiry. 
Troubles also arose in Egypt. In February, 1879, the Khedive 
dismissed Nubar Pasha, the Minister of the Dual Control, and 
put in his place Shereef Pasha with a native Ministry. This was 
too much for the bond-holders. In June Ismail was deposed 
and Tewfik, his son, was put in his place. The Dual Control 
was established with even greater authority, and the British 




representative appointed was Major Baring, who afterwards, as 
Lord Cromer, was to make for himself an honoured name. 

When the autumn of 1879 approached Parliament was nearly FonndAtioB 
six years old, and a General Election could not long be delayed, of tlie Land 
Both parties began to arm for the fray, and combative oratory l««*<ne. 
was transferred from St. Stephen's to the platforms. To meet 
the growing agricultural depression, a Farmers' Alliance was 
formed, the object of which was to protect tenant farmers against 
loss of their capital and give them security in their holdings and 
prevent their interests from suffering from the undue preserva- 
tion of game. This led to a discussion on the policy of small 
holdings, which were supported by Hartington and attacked by 
Beaconsfield. The condition of Ireland was even worse than that 
of England, as it suffered from a bad harvest, the failure of the 
potato crop, and damage done to the peat by rain. Pauperism 
increased, saving was impossible, railway traffic diminished, and 
many farmers became bankrupt. The result was the foundation 
of the Land League by Michael Davitt and Pamell. It was not 
unlawful in its objects, which were to protect the tenants from 
unjust rent ; but it was likely for the present to employ means 
which violated the law. The farmers were advised to pay no 
more rent than they thought advisable. Davitt said that rent 
for land, in any circumstances, whether times were prosperous 
or bad, was nothing more or less than an unjust and immoral tax 
on the industry of the people ; and Daly, the proprietor of the 
Connaught Telegraph, spoke strongly against eviction. For the 
bitterness of their opinions Davitt and Daly were arrested by 
the Government, but no further steps were taken. 

The most prominent place in the Parliamentary struggle was oiaditone'i 
taken by Gladstone in Midlothian, where he was contending MidlalhUii 
against the eldest son of the Duke of Buccleuch, Lord Dalkeith. Campaijii. 
The invitation had come, in the beginning of 1879, from Lord 
Rosebery and William Adam, the Liberal Whip, with the approval 
of Lord Granville and Lord Wolverton. The Liberals were over- 
joyed at the constituency being contested by the man whom they 
regarded as the greatest living Scotsman, and Adam predicted a 
majority of 200. Gladstone left Liverpool for Edinburgh to open 
the campaign on November 24th. The journey was a triumphal 
procession, the like of which had never been seen before. On 
this bleak winter day the whole countryside was roused. Wher- 
ever the train stopped, thousands flocked to greet the statesnum, 
and even at wayside spots hundreds assembled to catch a 
glimpse of the express as it hurried past. Addresses were pre- 


sented at Carlisle, Hawick and Galashiels. Edinburgh was reached 
after a nine hours' journey ; the streets were crowded by a joyous 
multitude, and Lord Rosebery conducted his guest to Dabneny. 
Gladstone wrote in his diary that he had never gone through a 
more extraordinary day. 
I's Similar enthusiasm accompanied the speeches themselves. 

,^^*"* People came from the Hebrides to hear the orator, and the 
^^"^f™^ applications for seats were nearly ten times as many as the 
rooms would hold. The weather vras bitter, the hills being 
covered with snow ; but this could not chill enthusiasm. In 
this wonderful series of speeches, which lasted more than a week, 
Gladstone traversed the whole field of Tory government, attack- 
ing it at every point. He showed how an ample surplus had 
been converted into a disastrous deficit; how there had been a 
lack of beneficent legislation ; how national honour had been 
compromised by the breach of public law ; how in foreign 
politics the coimtry had earned the enmity of Russia and yet 
had not prevented the increase of the Tsar's power ; how Great 
Britain's friendship and support of Turkey, given to her with 
great sacrifices, had not prevented her ruin ; how blood had 
been shed to no purpose in Zululand ; how freedom had been 
destroyed in the Transvaal ; how confusion had been caused in 
Afghanistan ; and how India had been left in a worse condition 
than that in which the present Government had found it. He 
laid down the great principles which the country ought to 
follow — the passing of just laws, the fostering of economy, the 
preservation of peace, the cultivation of European union and 
friendship, the avoidance of entangling engagements, the devotion 
to freedom, and the acknowledgment of the equal rights of all 

" Remember," he said at one meeting, " that the sanctity of 
life in the hill villages of Afghanistan, among the winter snows, 
is as inviolable in the sight of Almighty God as can be your 
own. Remember that He who has created you a human being 
in the same flesh and blood has bound you by the law of mutual 
love ; that mutual love is not limited by the shores of this island, 
is not limited by the boundaries of Christian civilisation, that 
it has power over the whole surface of the earth and embraces 
the meanest as well as the greatest in its unmeasured scope." 
Never since the days of Edmund Burke had the case of Liberalism 
and the plea for the restoration of a Liberal Government been 
placed so powerfully and so convincingly before the tribimal of 
the nation. The effects of this campaign were not inmiediately 



apparent. The London Press was hostile, and the by-elections 
were indecisive. But at the end of November a great victory 
was won at Sheffield, which was a harbinger of hope and confid- 
ence. The battle of oratory continued during 1880, beginning 
at the close of the Christmas holidays, as a dissolution was 
imminent and no member knew when he might have to meet his 
constituents. Parliament met on February 4th, and it became 
necessary to legislate at once for the relief of Irish distress, 
which was very acute. To supplement private charitable efforts 
the Government authorised the construction of public works to 
be paid for out of the Irish Church Fimd. A provision restrain- 
ing eviction on the relieved estates was imfortunately struck out 
by the Lords. 

The month of March had now arrived, and Ministers announced j^^^^ |^^ 
that as soon as the budget had been introduced and the necessary ftnumii 
votes taken Parliament would be dissolved. The budget had to 
deal with a deficit of £3,000,000, which was provided for by the 
suspension of the sinking fund. The Prime Minister addressed 
the coimtry by means of a letter to the Duke of Marlborough, 
the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, on the danger of Home Rule, a 
political doctrine which had hitherto received very slight support 
from British politicians and none from the country. Beacons- 
field denounced it as being, in its ultimate residts, scarcely 
less disastrous than pestilence or famine, and summoned all men 
of light and leading to resist disintegration of the United 
Kingdom. This was the only topic treated of, but Imperialism 
received some recognition in the assurance that peace rests on 
the presence, not to say the ascendancy, of Great Britain in 
the cotmcils of Europe. Lord Hartington replied on March nth 
in an address to the electors of North-East Lancashire. He 
denoimced Home Rule as impracticable and mischievous, but 
repudiated Beaconsfield's expressions as extravagant and over- 
strained, and urged the adoption of equal laws as a remedy for 
Irish discontent. Leading Liberals rejected Home Rule as part 
of their platform, and the only English Home Ruler appears to 
have been Joseph Cowen, of Newcastle, who, however, supported 
Beaconsfield warmly in his foreign policy. The result was that 
the question of Home Rule did not form part of the controversy 
in the election. 

Gladstone's address was very powerful. It repudiated the ma^gtoBe'i 
assertion that the Liberal policy aimed at repeal of the Union BmobA 
with Ireland and the abandonment of the colonies. He said that MidlotkUui 
the enemies of the Union were those who maintained in Ireland ^ " l^ * < * ' 



an alien Church, unjust land laws, and a franchise inferior 
to that of the sister countries. The colonies, he maintained, 
were imited by the principles of Free Trade with the rest of the 
world, of popular and responsible government, and of confedera- 
tion where it was possible to carry it out, and by the promise to 
defend them in case of need with all the strength of the Empire. 
On March i6th he set out for another campaign in Midlothian, 
accompanied by similar manifestations of a royal progress to 
those which he had before experienced. He received addresses 
at Grantham, York and Newark, and was greeted at Edinburgh 
with as much enthusiasm as ever. When he arrived at Dalmeny 
he set himself to work with unboimded energy and, indeed, 
spoke every day for a whole fortnight. Hartington made even 
more speeches than Gladstone, and conducted in Lancashire 
a close duel with Cross, by no means a contemptible antagonist. 
A main proposal of the Liberals was to extend the franchise 
in the counties, and it was to fight this issue that the 
Eighty Club, which afterwards became such a powerful in- 
stitution, was founded. Joseph Chamberlain, then an ardent 
Radical, established the caucus system at Birmingham, adminis- 
tered by the able hands of Schnadhorst, and this contributed 
largely to the success of the election. 
Lflbenl ParUament was dissolved on March 24th, and the first elec- 

Trinmph. tions took place on March 30th ; it was at once evident that 
the Liberals would have a majority. On the first day they had 
a net gain of fifteen seats in sixty-nine constituencies, and by 
the end of the fourth day a net gain of fifty seats was announced, 
and the Ministerial majority had disappeared. Gladstone was 
elected both for Midlothian and for Leeds, and when he preferred 
the former, his yoimgest son, Herbert, was returned for Leeds 
without a contest, and thus began a distinguished and successful 
political career. The result of the elections was a great surprise 
to both parties, but it spoke with no uncertain voice. The new 
Parliament contained 347 Liberals as against 351 Tories in the 
old. The Conservative Opposition was now 240, whereas the 
Liberal Opposition in the late House had been 250. The numbers 
of the Home Rule party had risen from 50 to 65. Beaconsfield 
heard the result of the elections at Hatfield, where he was stasdng 
alone in the absence of Lord Salisbury. He had expected a very 
diiferent result, but he viewed the ruin of his Government and 
the end of his career with unshaken serenity and magnanimity. 
Gladstone wrote : " The downfall of Beaconsfield is like the 
vanishing of some vast, magnificent castle in an Italian romance. 



We may be well content to thank God in silence. But the out- 
look is tremendous. The gradual tmravelling of the tangled 
knots of the foreign and Indian policy will indeed be a task for 
skilled and strong hands if they can be found, and there can 
hardly be found such as the case requires." 

Beaconsfield determined not to meet the new Parliament, and The 
only delayed his resignation until the Queen returned from the Jf'JJJT 
Continent. The last meeting of the outgoing Cabinet was held 
on April 21st. On the following day the Queen sent for 
Hartington, and urged him to form a Government, expressing 
confidence in his moderation, which is perhaps the main reason 
why she chose him in preference to Gladstone and Granville. 
Hartington replied that no Cabinet could be formed without 
Gladstone, and that no post could be offered him except that 
of First Minister, an obvious proposition which the Queen, how- 
ever, appeared to doubt, asking him to ascertain if this were 
really the case. Of course, it was foimd to be the case, and, after 
another interview with Granville and Hartington, the Queen sent 
for Gladstone. In the interview which followed, the Queen asked 
some questions about suggested Ministers, and ended by saying, 
" I must be frank with you, Mr. Gladstone, and must firmly say 
that there have been some little things which caused me concern." 

Gladstone was free to admit that he had used a mode of 
speech and language different in some degree from what he 
would have used had he been the leader of a party or a 
candidate for office ; that in office he would use every effort 
to diminish her cares, or, at any rate, not to aggravate them; 
but that, considering his years, he could only look forward to 
a short period of active exertion and a personal retirement at 
a comparatively early date. She answered that, with regard to 
the freedom of language, he would have to bear the consequences, 
to which Gladstone assented. He then kissed hands and the 
interview ended. 

V 32X 


THB Zulu War 

TlM Zolos. The land of the Zulus, l3diig between the Transvaal and the 
Indian Ocean, is a most interesting portion of South Africa, and 
the Zulus are a very attractive people. Their language closely 
resembles Kafir, but is more musical and more refined. It is 
spoken by many English men and women, and is used for 
religious purposes by many missionaries. The war, the incidents 
of which we now have to relate, sprang out of the endless conflict 
between barbarous and civilised races which is always going 
on — and from the forward policy of which we have already 
given some account. 

A competent historian tells us that the Emashlabatini country 
was originally occupied by a small tribe called the Abanguni, 
that of its more ancient kings little is known, except that they 
seem to have been of peaceful habits, making no wars and breed- 
ing cattle, and that the name of one of them was Zulu. The 
tribe was comprised of several families or clans, each having 
its own chieftain. The first king of whom any particulars are 
known was Senzagacone, son of Ufaina, who had a son Chaka, 
who at the death of his father was made king with great 

Chaka's authority was disputed by some of the other tribes 
and needed many wars to support it, but he eventually became 
chief potentate, levying tribute from the tribes aroimd him. He 
then endeavoured to extend his authority, especially over the 
Pondos, so that he claimed to rule over the entire country from 
the sea to Pondoland. He then proceeded to consoUdate his 
position. The petty kings imder his power became tributary chief- 
tains, and if any did not pay his tribute an impi was sent to eat 
him up. He also established a standing army, military service 
being made compulsory, the army becoming the King's army 
instead of the army of the tribes. Women were also compelled 
to marry into regiments at the King's command, and the 
regiments were not allowed to marry until they were entitled 
to wear head rings, and this did not occur until the men had 





reached forty years of age. He also defeated the Swazis and 
compelled them to pay tribute. Chaka was a great adminis- 
trator, like Charles the Great on a small scale, comparable to 
those heroes whom we are taught to admire in the dawn of 
European history. But one day, while his army was absent on 
a military expedition, Dingaan and four more of the King's 
brothers fell treacherously upon Chaka and killed him. He is 
said to have been contemplating a journey to England about the 
time of his death. 

Dingaan began his reign by killing all his brothers except Cetewayo'i 
Panda ; but he soon came into conflict with the Boers, who sent KlB<»Mp. 
Pieter Retief to chastise him. Retief was killed on February 
5th, 1838. Dingaan then invaded Natal and waged war with 
considerable success ; but Panda, recollecting the fate which 
had befallen the rest of his family, joined the Boers, and with 
them invaded Zululand and defeated Dingaan, who was slain 
by the Swazis. Upon this Panda became king, and ceded to 
the Boers the territory of Natal as far as the Tugela. He had 
many sons, the best known of whom were Cetewayo and 
Umbulazi, but Cetewayo defeated Umbulazi and killed him. 
Cetewayo, being accepted as King of the Zulus after Panda's 
death in October, 1872, asked the British Government to accept 
him. Shepstone, the British envoy, pubhcly crowned him, saying 
to the Zulus, " He is your King. You have recognised him as 
such, and I will now do so also in the name of the Queen of 
England. If you kill him we shall surely require his blood of 
you." Cetewayo reigned well, but it could be hardly expected 
of him that he should be entirely devoid of cruelty. 

Questions of frontier were boimd to arise between the Zulus Mellon 
and the Boers. Moreover, the yoimg men of the army wanted Between 
to " wash their spears " and to attack the Boers with that object, J^ol *"* 
but the British Government refused to allow it. It was only 
natural that the people of Natal should be afraid of the miUtary 
nation of the Zulus on their borders, and should dread a possible 
invasion of their colony, though, in fact, a certain section of the 
colonists eagerly desired war. They disliked the neighbourhood 
of black people, whom they could neither tax nor force to work ; 
if the power of this native race were broken, they would get a 
hut tax out of them, and the presence of British troops would, 
in a variety of ways, also be very lucrative. Besides, the white 
yoimg men were just as anxious to try their rifles as the Zulus 
to " wash their spears." Some even of the missionaries clamoured 
for war, and said that only the utter destruction of the Zulus 




could secure peace in South Africa, and that in ihaking war they 
would have the approbation of their God, their Queen, and their 

Mtltli For many years there had been a dispute between the Zulus 

and the Boers upon a question of boundary. The claims of both 
parties were examined by the British Commissioner, Sir Bartle 
Frere, and the result was communicated to Cetewayo's envoys 
at the Lower Tugela Drift on December nth, 1878. The award 
was favourable to the Zulus, but with it was delivered an ulti- 
matum involving the destruction of the whole system of Zulu 
government. They were not only asked to pay 600 head of 
cattle for supposed offences, but to undertake to observe certain 
promises which it was asserted Cetewayo had given at his 
coronation — ^to disband the Zulu army ; to discontinue the Zulu 
mihtary system ; to allow men to marry when they pleased ; 
to readmit missionaries and their converts, who had been expelled 
in 1877 for disloyalty ; to allow a British Agent to reside in 
Zululand, so that all cases in which Europeans were engaged 
should be heard in public ; and to expel no one from the country 
except with the commissioner's approval. It was stated that if 
these demands were not agreed to before the end of the year, 
that is, within twenty days, the British army would invade the 
country on the first day of the New Year and enforce them 
at the point of the bayonet — a term afterwards extended to 
January nth. 
Piraparaiioiii It is quite clear that the King could not accept these demands, 
for War. which were of a most hmniUating and most destructive character, 

without consulting his Indimas, and that the cattle could not be 
collected for deUvery within the time specified ; but Sir Bartle 
Frere had made up his mind that the existence of the Zulu State 
was inconsistent with British rule in South Africa, and that it 
must be crushed at all hazards. Cetewayo did not desire war, 
and wished to live in peace with neighbours who had been kind 
and friendly. He had contemplated nothing but self-defence and, 
by the exercise of patience and moderation, matters might have 
been peacefully arranged without the loss of men, money and 
honour. Sir Michael Hicks Beach, the Secretary for the Colonies, 
expressed a hope that, by meeting the Zulus in a spirit of forbear- 
ance and reasonable compromise, the very serious danger of a 
war might be avoided. But the Natal Government set to work to 
raise a corps of 7,000 natives to fight against their countrymen, 
and declared that the time had arrived for decisive action, that 
there would never be so favourable an opportunity for smashing 



the Zulu power, and that if it were lost Great Britain would sooner 
or later be taken at a disadvantage. 

At this time Sir Bartle Frere, a proconsul of the greatest tim Ziila 
eminence, was Governor of Cape Colony, and was responsible for War u 
settling such important matters. No historian can deny Frere's JSmT 
high quaUties or belittle the value of the services he rendered to 
the Empire during his administration of Sind and Bombay, and 
his conduct during the Indian Mutiny. But when sent to the 
Cape he was advanced in years, and found himself in a most 
difficult position, which he imperfectly imderstood, and his train- 
ing as an Indian official made him less fit to deal with the strange 
problems before him. He conceived a strong dislike to Cetewayo, 
and a deep distrust for the methods which had been adopted for 
welding the Zulus into a powerful nation, and in the steps he 
took to remedy these evils he went not only beyond what the 
occasion demanded, but exceeded the powers committed to him 
by the Government. In the controversy which ensued upon his 
conduct between himself, on the one side, and the Home Govern- 
ment and Mr. Gladstone on the other, it is impossible to avoid 
the conclusion that they were right and that Frere was wrong, 
and that the Zulu War which he brought about was a serious and 
unnecessary crime. Hicks Beach wrote, in January, 1879, that 
the demands with which Cetewayo had been called upon to 
comply, and Frere's own description of the situation with which 
he had to deal, had not prepared the Government for the course 
which Frere was now taking. The Colonial Secretary said that 
he had impressed upon Frere the importance of using every effort 
to avoid war, but that Cetewayo would not improbably refuse 
the terms offered him even at the risk of hostilities, and that 
Frere ought to have consulted the Home Government before 
presenting such conditions to the Zulu king. 

War was now inevitable, and it was determined to advance The 
into Zululand with four columns, each complete in itself, with 
its own artillery, cavalry, and independent leader. The native 
levies, which should never have been employed, were armed with 
rifles and clothed in corduroy tunics and breeches with long boots 
of imtanned leather and the now familiar cowboy hat. There 
were also 1,000 European volunteers and a contingent of mounted 
Boers, trained horsemen and deadly shots, who were savage 
against the Zulus and did not realise that the destruction of the 
natives' liberty was to be a prelude to the subversion of their own. 

The first column, under Pearson, was to assemble on the Lower 
Tugela, garrison Fort Pearson, cross the river, and encamp on 



the Zulu side, under the protection of the guns of the fort. The 
second, under Dumford, composed almost entirely of natives, 
was to cross the Tugela ; the third, under Glyn, was to cross at 
Rorke's Drift ; the fourth, xmder Evelyn Wood, was to advance 
to the Blood River. The strength of the Imperial and Colonial 
troops has been placed at 6,669. The Zulu army was composed 
of the natives in arms, all males between fifteen and sixty-five 
being compelled to serve without exemption. It consisted of 
large regiments, each containing a right and left wing, each 
wing being divided into companies. The companies were really 
famihes or clans, and varied in strength from 10 to 200, each 
possessing their own kraal or headquarters. At certain intervals, 
varjdng from two to five years, a general levy had been held, 
when all the males who had attained the age of fifteen were 
formed into regiments and had to undergo a year's probation 
to mark the change from boyhood to manhood. There were, 
in all, thirty-three regiments, some married, some unmarried, 
none being allowed to marry without the King's consent, which 
they did not receive till they were about forty years of age. 
The married men had their heads shaved in a Capuchin tonsure, 
and bore white shields ; the immarried, with unshaven heads, 
bore coloured shields. It was reckoned that only about twenty- 
five regiments would be fit for active service, nimibering some 
40,000. They were fed by three or four days' supply of grain, 
carried by lads who followed each corps, and by herds of cattle 
driven with each column. 
Tha Gamp The Tugela was crossed on January 12th, 1879, the day after 

at iMBdhl- tijg expiry of the ultimatum ; but the difficulties of advance were 

found to be great. The long train of wagons was very cumber- 
some, and the invaders were almost completely ignorant of the 
country. On January 20th the third column moved from Rorke's 
Drift to Isandhlwana Hill, the spot selected for a camp. The 
Lion Hill rises abruptly to the west, representing the head of the 
crouching animal, and after forming the back extends sharply 
to the east. At both ends are necks or ridges connecting the hill 
with smaller elevations ; the road from Rorke's Drift passes over 
the western ridge, and on the north is a deep ravine and water- 
course. On the left of the camp was posted the Natal native 
contingent ; in the centre were the Colonial regular infantry and 
the headquarters camp of Lord Chelmsford, the commander-in- 
chief ; on the right were the guns and mounted corps lining the 
edge of the road, and behind was the precipitous Lion Hill ; so 
that the camp was placed with its back to the wall. 



On January 22nd, at 6 in the morning, a company of Natal Boer AdviM 
natives was despatched to scout towards the left, to search for ^^l 
the enemy. At 9 Dumford came up with a rocket battery and mutgaa^^i. 
500 native troops. False intelligence was brought that the Zulus 
were retiring in all directions. However, about 10 they were 
found in force on a range of hills about five miles oil. Lord 
Chelmsford had very little acquaintance with South Africa, or with 
Zidu methods of fighting, and Frere managed that he should meet 
Kruger and Joubert, who, twenty years later, became so prominent 
in the Boer War. They impressed upon him the absolute 
necessity of collecting his wagons in a laager every evening and 
whenever there was any danger of the approach of the enemy. 
Chelmsford, however, continued to hold Ids own opinions; he 
despised the enemy and clung to English methods. Attaching 
himself to the third corps, he crossed the Buffalo at Rorke's Drift 
and encamped at Isandhlwana. 

On the morning of the fatal 22nd the general set out to attack TIm !■!« 
the Zulus. He left Pulleine in command of the camp and sent ***»■••• 
a message to Dumford to move up from Rorke's Drift. Pulleine 
had been ordered to draw in his line of defence and his infantry 
outposts, but to keep his cavalry vedettes stiU far advanced. 
After the departure of the advance column at daybreak every- 
thing remained quiet in the camp imtil between 7 and 8 o'clock, 
when news came that some Zulus were approaching. Pulleine 
commimicated this to Chelmsford, who received the news between 
9 and 10. Dumford reached the camp at about 11, and found 
that some preparations were made and that reports were coming 
in annoimcing the retirement of the enemy. Dumford deter- 
mined to move out and reconnoitre, but about five miles off met 
a large body of the Zulus, in skirmishing order, who opened fire 
and advanced very rapidly. Dumford fell back, keeping up a 
steady fire, for about two miles, and disputing every yard of 
ground, until he reached a gully, about 800 yards in front of 
the camp, where he made a stand. He held the gully most 
heroically and is supposed to have killed 1,000 Zulus. 

Firing was not heard in the camp till mid-day, and soon after- The Oaap 
wards the Zulus swept down upon it in overwhelming numbers. ^^][^ 
They completely surrounded the 24th Regiment ; the retreat ^ 
by the Rorke's Drift road was blocked ; the soldiers ran away 
down a ravine, and the Zulus mingled with them, striking at them 
with their assegais as they ran. At last the BufiFalo was reached, 
about five miles below Rorke's Drift, and here a number of the 
fugitives were shot or carried away by the stream and drowned. 



CU0WI of 



Hapnr . 

The ground was rugged, broken up with small streams of water 
and strewn with boulders, but was such as a Zulu could traverse 
more quickly than a horse. The river, which ran fast, was deep 
and without a ford, sharp rocks alternating with deep water. Not 
half of those who escaped from the camp succeeded in crossing it. 
Here occurred the brilliant action of Lieutenants Melvill and 
Coghill which still lives in history and art. Seeing that all was 
lost, they attempted to escape on horseback with the colours of 
the 24th Regiment. Coghill got safely across the Buffalo, but 
Melvill was shot just as he was reaching the farther bank. Coghill 
turned back to help his comrade, and suffered the same fate. 
Their bodies were found dose to each other, surrounded by dead 
Zulus, and the colours which they had sacrificed their lives to 
defend were discovered in the bed of the river, saved from dis- 

When the attack ceased, Dumford rallied the white troopers 
on the right of the camp, and with them and the Basutos forced 
the Zulu left, keeping open the road across the Nek, by which 
retreat was still possible. Dumford held his position imtil all 
hope of retrieving the day was gone. He and his companions left 
their horses to cover the retreat of their comrades and died to 
a man at their posts. Dumford's body was afterwards dis- 
covered in a patch of long grass near the right flank of the enemy, 
surrounded by the corpses of the brave men who had fought it 
out with him to the bitter end. Dumford was a remarkable 
man ; he strongly disapproved of the whole policy of the Colonial 
Government towards the natives, and, while the best-abused man 
in the colony, was adored by the Zulus. Indeed, he inspired 
them with such love and devotion that they sold their lives at 
his side. Bulwer described him as a soldier of soldiers, with his 
whole heart in his profession, keen, active-minded, and indefatig- 
able, unsparing of himself, brave and utterly fearless, honourable^ 
loyal, of great gentleness and goodness of heart. There perished 
at Isandhlwana twenty-six British officers and 600 men, the loss 
of the Colonials not being less. 

In the meantime Chelmsford was perfectly happy, having no 
fear for the safety of the camp, continuing his operations against 
the supposed main body of the Zulus. At 2 o'clock he was 
selecting a fit spot for a camp, when he heard from a native 
horseman of the attack on Pulleine and the heavy firing of big 
guns. He surveyed the camp from the summit of a hill, and 
everything seemed quiet. The sim shone on the white tents ; 
there were no signs of firing, and it was not imtil some time later 



that he was informed that the camp was in the possession of the 
enemy. He sent Glyn and his force towards tiie camp; but, 
in spite of all his exertions, he could not reach it before dark. 
He found it an entire wreck, the ground being strewn with corpses, 
broken tents, dead horses, oxen, and other signs of complete 
destruction. His men, most of whom were without ammuni- 
tion and had not eaten anything for forty-eight hours, were 
obliged to bivouac amongst the relics of the slaughter, and were 
entirely imable to withstand the Zulus if they attacked. Next 
morning the British retreated to Rorke's Drift. 

In this place a deed of heroic daring had taken place which The Pwltt«i 
illuminates the sad history and wiD Kve for ever in the annals »* lUtkm*u 
of valour. Lieutenant Chard, with a sergeant and six men, was ^^"^^ 
guarding the pontoon bridge over the Tugela at this point, and 
Lieutenant Bromhead had command over the commissariat depot 
with a company of the 24th. They heard of the disaster at 
Isandhlwana and of the advance of the Zulus about 3 in the 
afternoon, and, joining together, loopholed and barricaded the 
storehouse and hospital, and connected the two with " works " 
of mealie-bags. At 3.30 about 100 natives of Dumford's Horse 
arrived, but eventually deserted and galloped oil to Helpmakaar. 
As they could not defend all their buildings with their small 
numbers, they made an inner entrenchment of biscuit-boxes, the 
wall being two boxes high. Suddenly they were attacked by 600 
Zulus, who, braving their fire, came within fifty yards of the 
biscuit boxes. Then the larger number of them swung to the 
left, round the hospital, and rushed upon the wall of mealie bags. 
Others held a ridge of rocks overlooking the British position, 
and kept up a constant fire at the distance of 100 yards ; others 
occupied a garden in a hollow on the road and the bush beyond. 

At last the fire from the ridge of rocks compelled the defenders The ttaOaat 
to retire behind the inner defence of biscuit boxes. Presently ^^^ 
the hospital was set on fire and the garrison defended the build- 
ing room by room, bringing out all the sick who could be moved 
before they retired. Five patients, however, had to be left. 
They now made a redoubt of the lines of mealie bags, thus 
obtaining a second Une of fire, and in this way defended them- 
selves until darkness fell. The attacks continued throughout the 
night, until at 4 in the morning of January 23rd the enemy retired 
over the hill. The defenders then examined the ground, collected 
the arms of the dead Zulus, and strengthened the position as far 
as they could. At 7 a large body of Zulus were seen to approach, 
but an hour later the British troops began to appear, the enemy 



fell back, and the post of Rorke's Drift was saved. The defence 
had been conducted by eight officers and about 131 men of lower 
rank against a force of nearly 4,000 Zulus, of whom 370 lay dead 
aroimd the spot. Chard and Bromhead— one belonging to the 
Royal Engineers and the other to the 24th Regiment — received 
the thanks of Parliament for their services, and were promoted 
to the rank of major. 
ThaLaiMB Such is the story of Isandhlwana. The British underrated 
ofliaiidiil- ^jjg power of the Zulus, overrated the courage of their native 
*"** allies, neglected the most obvious precautions, and allowed masses 

of the enemy, who had no plan of their own, to blunder into the 
British camp and cause terrible disaster. But the chief lesson to 
be derived from what happened was that the war should never 
have been imdertaken at all. 
Btfoaoe The next point of interest is Ekowe, a position of great 

ofSkowe« natiural beauty, 2,000 feet above the sea-level, commanding a 
view of Port Dumford, the sea being about twenty miles distant 
as the crow flies. The buildings on this site consisted of three 
structures of brick and a smsdl church, which was afterwards 
turned into a hospital. Pearson, who commanded the first 
division, had entrenched himself here, intending to make it a 
place of support to the invading army, as it was about seventy 
miles distant from Cetewayo's kraal at Ulundi, which was the 
main point of attack. Here Pearson heard the news of Isandhl- 
wana, and determined to remain where he was, being confident 
he could hold out for at least two months. He laboured hard to 
make a very strong fort, and had an excellent supply of water. 
His force had not much to eat, two pounds of freshly-killed beef 
(very tough), two commissariat biscuits as hard as flint, a Uttle 
coffee, tea and sugar, one spoonful of lime juice, and a small 
quantity of preserved vegetables being the daily ration per man. 
They had no lack of ammunition and the troops led an orderly 
and strenuous life, part of their time being spent in raiding for 
the destruction of kraals. At the same time Pearson's force was 
wholly isolated and surroimded by the enemy, so that it became 
necessary to release it. 
Beltof of The advance for this purpose began on March 27th, the first 

lkowe« division consisting of 3,720 infantry and 350 cavalry, conmianded 
by Lowe, and the second of 2,060 infantry and 196 cavalry, 
commanded by Pemberton, the whole forming an aggregate of 
6,320 men. The column was made as light as possible, no 
tents being taken, and each man being allowed only a blanket 
and waterproof sheet, while the wagons and pack animals were 



reduced to the smallest proportions. It was a great help that 
sim-signalling was possible between Pearson and Chelmsford. 
A battle took place on April 2nd in which the Zulus were 
defeated, after fighting with conspicuous bravery. They wore 
crests of leopard skins and feathers, the tails of wild oxen 
dangled from their necks, and they carried white and coloured 
shields. They approached with a sort of measured dance, but 
at about three himdred yards the flame burst forth from the 
shelter-pit, and a number of the fearless enemy fell. But, nothing 
daunted, the main body again advanced and boldly faced the 
murderous fire. At last a charge of cavalry decided the fate of 
the conflict. The British loss was small, only two officers and 
four privates being killed, and three officers and thirty-four 
privates wounded, whereas the Zulus must have lost nearly a 
thousand men — a number which pains one to chronicle and 
which seriously detracts from the glory of the exploit. At 
length, on April 3rd, Pearson and Chelmsford met, and a 
rousing British cheer celebrated the event. Pearson had been 
beleaguered for seventy days, the monotony of which had been 
relieved by lawn tennis, bowls, ninepins and quoits, together 
with concerts and theatrical performances. 

With the relief of Ekowe, the first period of the Zulu War Relnforo*- 
came to an end. There was no danger of an invasion of Natal, »«*§ tiw 
but it was thought necessary to capture Cetewayo. Large **** ^^ 
reinforcements arrived from England, comprising 9,000 troops 
and 2,000 horses, the cavalry being the most wanted and the 
most important. With the force arrived the Prince Imperial of 
France, a noble and chivalrous youth, destined to perish in a 
quarrel not his own, in a moment of surprise and treachery. A 
new plan of campaign was formed, by which the principal forces 
operating, one from Utrecht and the other from Durban, were 
to make an attack upon the King's kraal at Ulundi. 

About the middle of May the task, too long delayed, of The field 
burying the dead at Isandhlwana was undertaken. The work •'^•■Al- 
was a very sad one. At the same time, there was nothing of ^ 
the horrors of a recent battlefield. Silence reigned in the 
solitude ; grass had grown luxuriantly roimd the wagons and 
shrouded the dead, who had been lying there for four months. 
Rider and horse, officer and private, man and boy, their parch- 
ment-looking skins half eaten by the carrion crows and half 
covering the bleaching bones, formed a gruesome sight. Many 
of the bodies were recognised ; Dumford was found in a patch 
of grass, surrounded by those who had fallen near him, and was 




Bffovts for 

ne War 

buried with deep respect in a donga, close to the spot where he 
fell. The dead were roughly buried, excepting the men of the 
a4th Regiment, who were left to be interred by their comrades. 
Fifty-five wagons were brought away by the horses and mules, 
and a quantity of stores was stowed in them. The staff which 
had borne the colours of the 24th was also recovered, and the 
men returned to the camp with due precautions for their 

During the whole of this time Cetewayo was continuously 
asking for peace, professing not to understand the object of 
the war. As early as March 3rd he sent a message to Bishop 
Schneider, saying that he had taken care of the deserted mission 
stations, not allowing them to be damaged, thinking that the 
missionaries might return to them ; but in some cases they had 
come back and converted them into forts, whereupon his people 
had destroyed them, which he could not complain of, seeing the 
use which had been made of them. He also said that he had 
never desired war, that he had never refused the terms proposed 
to him, that he had collected the 600 head of cattle which 
were asked for, that the attack upon Isandhlwana was not made 
by his orders, and that his Induna was in disgrace for it, and that 
he wished negotiations to be resumed, with a view to a permanent 
settlement. He also sent back the book given to him by the 
Government at the time of his accession, and asked that it might 
be shown to him in what respect he had transgressed its 
provisions. It was impossible for him to open commimications, 
because his messengers were fired upon and in some cases detained. 
In one case the Natal papers reported that when a small party 
bearing a white flag approached the British station the flag was 
fired at to test its sincerity. Unfortimately, Cetewayo's efforts 
to make peace were never encouraged, and the opinion was held 
that his messengers were spies. 

At the same time the Home Government was expressing its 
desire that the war should terminate at the earliest moment 
consistent with the honour of the British arms and the settle- 
ment of the Zulu question. But when war is once begun the 
officers conducting it are generally reluctant to make peace until 
the enemy has been entirely crushed. In May it was reported 
that the King was suing for peace. He said, "White men 
have made me King, and I am their son. Do they kill the 
mail in the afternoon whom they have made King in the morn- 
ing ? What have I done ? I want peace ; I ask for peace." 
Lord Chelmsford, however, was of opinion that Cetewayo must 



be deposed, and that peace must be signed at Ulundi, in the 
presence of the British force. 

On Sunday, June ist, occurred the episode in which the The Priase 
Prince Imperial lost his life. It is so important in itself and so JjnpwfW'i 
characteristic of the conduct of the war that a detailed account ^ 

should be given of it. The Prince had arrived in Natal early in 
April. He acted at first as extra aide-de-camp to Chelmsford, 
but afterwards became attached to Colonel Harrison, of the 
Engineers. Harrison was requested to find him some work, and 
he was asked to collect information about the distribution of 
troops and similar objects. He then accompanied Harrison on 
a skirmishing expedition into Zululand, undertaken with the 
object of ascertaining which route the invading forces should 
take. They were thus occupied from May 13th to 17th, camp- 
ing by night with their horses saddled and bridled, marching 
at dawn, and driving the Zulu scouts before them. The Prince 
was then sent back, but on May i8th received permission to 
return and begin a new reconnaissance. Harrison was now 
informed that he was to consider the Prince Imperial as attached 
to the quartermaster's staff for duty, but that it was not put 
into orders because the Prince did not belong to the army. He 
did not Uve with Harrison, and only saw him when he came for 
work or orders, which was very frequently. On May a4th the 
Prince was ordered to prepare the plan of a divisional camp; 
but that evening Harrison was rebuked by Chelmsford for having 
allowed the Prince to go out of the lines without an escort, and 
gave orders that this should not be done in future, and the Prince 
received orders to this effect in writing. He was then required 
to make a map of the coimtry, from the reports received, and 
this he did very well. 

As the month advanced, reconnaissances were extended into The Fatal 
the coimtry and no enemy was seen. On May 31st the Prince 
was told that the army was to march on the foUowing day, and 
that he might go out and report on the roads and the camps for 
the purpose. Lieutenant Carey, who was Harrison's subordinate 
officer, expressed a desire to go with the Prince, as he wished to 
verify a sketch previously made, and Harrison said to him, " All 
right, you can look after the Prince " ; but at the same time he 
was told that the Prince was to be allowed to do the work of 
making a report upon the road and fixing a site for the camp. 
Carey and the Prince were to set out with an escort of six 
Europeans, a friendly Zulu, and six Basutos ; but the Basutos, 
who were invaluable as scouts, never arrived. 




Death of 
the Prinee. 




The party set out along a valley running north-east and 
gradually narrowing. They reached the watershed in about an 
hour, and were overtaken by Harrison, who ordered them to 
wait till the Basutos came up. The Prince said, " Oh ! we are 
quite strong enough," and they pushed on to the river. They 
proceeded for four miles along a deep, sandy ravine, with pre- 
cipitous sides, and came to an open space from which a path led 
to a deserted kraal about two miles away. They went on about 
two miles farther, but then off-saddled. It was a very dangerous 
place — a kraal, surrounded by tall grass. Remains of cooking 
showed that the kraal had been recently occupied, and dogs 
came out and barked at the intruders. No precautions were 
taken ; the horses were knee-haltered and tinned out to graze, 
coffee was prepared, and no search was made in the surrounding 

Yet all this time a party of thirty or forty Zulus were watch- 
ii^ the doomed men, waiting for the moment to attack. They 
crept up through the rank vegetation till their presence was 
detected by the Zulu who accompanied the British. He gave the 
alarm, the horses were collected, and the men prepared to mount. 
Suddenly a volley was fired from the river, the horses were seized 
with terror and broke away, and a private was shot dead. The 
Prince's horse — a grey, sixteen hands high, very difficult to 
control — ^became wild with fear. The escort galloped away, each 
anxious to save his own Mfe, and the Prince was left alone. He 
made desperate attempts to mount, by means of his holster flap, 
but the leather broke, and he feU beneath his horse, which 
trampled on him. His body was afterwards found, pierced with 
eighteen assegai woimds, stripped, with nothing but the amulet 
which his mother had given him hanging round his neck The 
body was conveyed to England and buried beside his father's 
at Chislehurst. 

About the middle of June news arrived in South Africa that 
Chelmsford had been superseded. Sir Garnet Wolseley having 
been recalled from Cyprus and made Governor of South Africa, 
High Commissioner of Natal and the Transvaal, and Commander- 
in-Chief of the forces in South Africa. However, till his arrival 
operations were continued which lasted till the end of the month. 
On July 27th some natives arrived from Cetewayo bringing 150 
of the oxen captured at Isandhlwana, a pair of elephant's tusks, 
and a letter written by a Dutch dealer, who was with the King. 
The letter said that the King could not comply with the whole 
of Chelmsford's demands, as the arms taken at Isandhlwana had 



not all come in, and that he had no power as Kmg to disband his 
regiments. He asked the English, on receipt of what they had 
asked for, to retire from the country. To this Chelmsford replied 
that he must advance to the Umvolosi, that he would remain 
there quietly till noon on July 3rd, when, if certain conditions 
were compUed with, proposals for peace would be entertained. 
Apparently no reply was received to this ultimatmn. 

Wolseley landed at Durban on June 28th, and Chelmsford Battle of 
acquainted him with what he had done. The final battle of Ulundi UlnndL 
was fought on July 4th. Chelmsford had under his command a 
force of a httle over 5,000 men. Redvers Buller, who led the 
attack, fought with his men in two ranks. The first were 
moimted, ready to attack any weak point in the enemy's line ; 
the second dismounted, using their saddles as a rest for their 
rifles. When the front rank were exhausted they retired, and the 
second then took their places, each thus in turn reUeving the 
other. At last the Zulus advanced with a grand front attack, 
showing great courage. One who was present tells us that their 
wild yells and unearthly war-cries were heard through the bang 
and rattle of the musketry fire. Drury-Lowe charged with his 
lancers, who, in their furious onslaught, pressed through the wall 
of human flesh, but the Zulus fought on stubbornly, stabbing 
at the horses' bellies and trying to drag the men from their 
saddles. Lord WiUiam Beresford pursued the flying Zulus with his 
dragoons. At last the enemy's force was broken and the Battle 
of Ulundi was won, and was celebrated at the time as a great 
victory for British arms. The Zulus numbered at least 23,000, 
of whom over 1,500 were lost. The British loss was very small, 
about a dozen killed and eighty wounded. The King's five great 
kraals had been destroyed. 

For some reason the Battle of Ulundi was not followed up. Wolielej 
The Zulu army had been thoroughly broken and dispersed, and Iuubms 
nothing could have prevented Chelmsford from destro}ang the Cammed. 
King's stronghold and securing a complete victory. Instead of 
this, he retired and resigned his command ; but it cannot be said 
whether this was due to the action of Wolseley or not. There is 
no doubt that Wolseley had been sent out to finish the war as 
speedily as possible. Accordingly, he crossed the Tugela on 
July 6th, reached the headquarters of the first division near Port 
Dumford next day, set to work to reduce expenses, dispensed 
with the services of the Naval Brigade, stopped reinforcements 
of every description, and gave up the idea of an invasion of 




taff^ te It only remained to find Cetewayo, who was said to be some 
w*w*jr«« ^here to the north of the Black Umvolosi, with a small number 
of adherents ; and a force of cavalry was sent from Ulundi for 
this purpose. They endeavoured in vain to induce his people 
to betray him, but his folk clung to him with the utmost 
devotion, as the Highlanders clui^ with loyalty to the fugitive 
Prince Charlie. The chase was most adventurous and most 
picturesque. The men had to live on what they found in the 
kraals — sour milk, cakes of Indian com, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, 
and native beer. Their road led through a thickly-wooded forest, 
with strange trees, like an artificial park. In some places they 
came to treeless plains and flats broken by bamboos and massive 
jungles which seemed almost impenetrable ; but in others they 
met with better cidtivated land, with large fields of maize. Now 
they found tamarinds, which gave them a pleasant shade ; now 
tracts of long, stiff grass, which came up to their saddle-flaps and 
tickled the horses; now an open steppe, with a distant view of 
the hills in front ; now a thick wood, where the foliage was so 
dense that they could scarcely see the steps of those in front ; 
now they gazed at the vaJleys and rivers below from an 
elevation of 2,000 feet. 
Iht KiBg From August 19th to August 27th their long marches were 

incessant. At last they came to a kraal which the King 
had left early in the morning ; mats, blankets, and a snuff- 
box were recognised as belonging to him. Marching all night, 
they came at daybreak within four miles of the kraal in which 
they were told that the King was lying. They knew that he was 
footsore and very weary. By and by his hut was surrounded, 
and the native friendUes said to the King's men, " The white 
man is here ; you are caught ! " 

Major Marter, who commanded the detachment, rode up and 
called on Cetewayo to surrender. 

The King replied, " Enter into my hut ; I am your 

This Marter declined to do, and the King came forth with a 
dignity which could not have been surpassed, and when a 
dragoon tried to lay hands on him, he said to the soldier, *' Do 
not touch me. I surrender to your chief." 

When Lord Gifford, who had commanded the expedition, came 
upon the scene, the King said that he surrendered to him, and not 
to Marter ; and then, as an eyewitness tells us, with head erect 
and regal, though savage, dignity, and the mien of a Roman 
Emperor, he marched between the lines of the 60th Rifles to 



the tent prepared for him, the men presenting arms as he 

Thus ended the Zulu War. Cetewayo was taken as prisoner 
to Cape Town ; and the Zulu country, so well governed by a 
single man, was split up into thirteen districts, each governed by 
its own chief. 

^ 337 



■ayo'i At the risk of repetition, we must give an account of Great 

Ylotroyalty. Britain's dealings with India under the Beaconsfield Govern- 
ment, on which we have aheady touched in the chapter devoted 
to the general survey of his Ministry. The suppression of the 
Mutiny marked an epoch in the relations of Great Britain to her 
Indian dependency. The conquest of India within natural 
frontiers was at an end. The native States were at peace, their 
limits defined, their d}niasties were established, and their exist- 
ence was guaranteed. In 1869 Sir John Lawrence was succeeded 
as Viceroy by the Earl of Mayo, appointed by DisraeU just before 
his Government came to an end. The appointment was far from 
popular, and Gladstone was urged to cancel it ; but the proposed 
Viceroy proved a success. On his arrival in India he found the 
Afghan question still imsolved, the dispute about the frontier 
being difficult to determine. From Baluchistan to Chitral there 
is a debatable zone of tribal territory, occupied by restless 
warriors, who owed a very imperfect submission to their nominal 
suzerain, the Amir of Afghanistan ; and it was hard to decide 
where the limit of British rule should be drawn, especially in view 
of the advance of Russia in Central Asia. Various plans had 
been formed of a very divergent character, some authorities hold- 
ing that the frontier of the British Empire should be withdrawn 
to the Indus ; others that the intermediate zone should be 
conquered ; some that Afghanistan should be partitioned, or the 
country conquered between the Oxus and the Indus ; but, as a 
fact. Great Britain had stopped at the base of the mountains, 
had left the tribes independent, and had regarded A%hanistaa 
as an inviolable buffer State. 
Bhere All'i A new epoch began with the death of Dost Mohammed ia 

^•^ 1863, an event which was followed by an internecine war between 

his sons. Shere Ali held the throne for two years, and was then 
driven from Cabul and Candahar by his elder brother Afzal. 
Afzal died and, as his eldest son, Abdurrahman, gave up the claim 
to the succession, the throne passed to another brother, Azim. 
In 1868 Shere Ali, starting from Herat, gained possession of all 



the dominions of Dost Mohammed, and ruled them for ten years. 
The policy of Great Britain, at this time, was to recognise the 
de facto ruler, whoever he might happen to be. Lawrence, there- 
fore, recognised Shere Ah, as soon as he had consoUdated his 
power, and made him a present of arms and money. Lord Mayo 
met Shere AU in conference at Amballa in March, 1869 ; but 
when the Amir made proposals for a closer aUiance the Viceroy 
was compelled by the Home Government to refuse them, much 
to Shere AU's disappointment. He took back with him no treaty, 
but only a promise of moral support, whatever that might mean. 
In 1869 an agreement had been made with Russia that the Oxus 
should be accepted as a boundary of Shere AU's dominions 
to the north, and that Russia should respect the integrity of 
his coimtry so long as he promised not to interfere with 

In 1872 Lord Mayo, while visiting the convict settlement in 8heM lli'i 
the Andaman Islands, was assassinated by a fanatic, and was ^PP^^ ^ 
succeeded by Lord Northbrook. The latter's relations with the 
Amir were not so good as those of his predecessor. Russia was 
making rapid advances in Central Asia, and Shere AU was alarmed 
at them, especially at the conquest of Khiva in June, 1873. The 
Amir was deeply anxious for an aUiance with Great Britain to 
protect him against Russia. But the Liberal Government, afraid 
of entanglements, gave him nothing but vague promises. Yet 
the opportunity of making friends with the Amir ought not to 
have been allowed to pass. Shere AU was bitterly disappointed, 
and sought with Russia the friendship which Great Britain had 
denied him. Consequently, when DisraeU became Prime Minister, 
the Government, with a dread of the advance of Russia, suspected 
Shere AU of friendly feeUngs towards their enemy, and desired 
the Viceroy to press upon him the admission of a British Resident 
into his country, to be stationed first at Herat and afterwards at 
Cabul. The Viceroy and his whole Coimcil protested against 
the proposal, on the groimd that this change of poUcy would 
produce a disastrous effect in the mind of the Amir. In 1868 
and 1873 Shere AU had entreated the British Government to 
make a close aUiance with him, in order to protect him against 
Russia, and he had been assured there was no need for appre- 
hension. It would be inconsistent and unwise to force upon 
him the aUiance which had been emphaticaUy rejected, together 
with a condition which he had always regarded as impossible. 
Unable to convince the Home Government of the soundness of 
his views, and imwilling to commit himself to their adventurous 



policy. Lord Northbrook magnanimously resigned his office, and 
Lord Lytton was appointed in his place. 
Lyttoa and Lytton proved himself the willing instrument of the new 

**•*• ***• Impcarial policy, which, if he did not originate, at all events he 

executed. He acceded to the demands which Shere Ali had put 
forward in 1873, but the latter was stubborn in refusing the 
acceptance of a Resident. The Amir pointed out, with truth, 
that he would be unable to protect a British Resident against 
the fanaticism of his subjects, and urged that if he admitted a 
representative from Great Britain he must also admit one from 
Russia. L3^ton apparently believed that Shere Ali was intriguing 
with Russia, and such ultimately became the case, although up 
to May, 1877, ^ letters from Russia were opened in the presence 
of the native who represented the British Government at Cabul, 
and commimicated to the Viceroy. The occupation of Quetta 
in 1876 increased the terror of the Amir, and an interview which 
took place at Peshawar between the representatives of the Viceroy 
and the Amir produced no result. When the A^han envoy, 
Syed Nur Mohammed, whose name should be mentioned 
with honour, died, L5^ton refused to receive his successor, 
who was already on his way, and broke off commimications 
with Shere Ah, who naturally turned to Russia. It is difficult 
to defend the vacillating and yet precipitate poUcy of Great 
Britain towards Afghanistan during the ten years which followed 
Wap We have already narrated at length the conduct of the British 

'^•®**'** Government towards Russia. The two nations were on the 
Afthanistan. ^^'^ ^^ w^^' which was only averted by the Congress of Berlin, 

and Russia naturally endeavoured to create a diversion in India* 
On June 13th, 1878, the very day on which the Congress of Berlin 
held its first sitting, a Russian mission, under General Stoletov, 
began its march from Tashkent to Cabul. Shere Ali endeavoured 
to arrest its progress ; but the Russians threatened him with the 
rivalry of Abdurrahman, his nephew, who resided in their country, 
so that he was compelled to submit, and possibly even signed a 
treaty with the Russian Government. This news decided Lytton 
upon vigorous action, and he announced his intention of sending 
Sir Neville Chamberlain to Cabul. Stoletov, on hearing of this, 
left Cabul, and, on September 30th, Major Cavagnari, who com- 
manded the advance guard of Chamberlain's mission, was stopped 
at the fort of Ali Musjid, refused an entrance to the Khyber Pass, 
and eventually war was declared on November 21st, 1878. Shere 
AJi deserves our pity ; he had done his best to avert the dangeis 



which threatened his country, and the death of his younger son, 
Abdullah Jan, had nearly disordered his mind. 

Afghanistan was invaded by three columns — ^Sir Samuel The 
Browne marched from the Khyber to Jelalabad ; Sir Frederick J^JJ^^jJJa 
Roberts executed his famous advance through the Kuram Pass, 
and stormed the heights of Peiwar ; and Sir Donald Stewart 
marched from Quetta to Candahar. Shere Ali fled northwards 
to Turkestan, leaving his son Yakub Khan to make terms with 
the invader; and, rejected by the Russian General Kauffmann, 
died broken-hearted in February, 1879. Lytton would have 
preferred to dismember the conquered coimtry, but the British 
Government made with Yakub Khan the Treaty of Gundamuk 
in May, 1879. By the terms of this treaty the Amir was to follow 
the orders of the British Government in conducting his foreign 
relations, to receive a British Resident at Cabul, to place under 
British control the districts of Kuram, Pishin and Sibi, together 
with the passes of Khyber and Michni. In retirni for these 
concessions the Amir was to be protected, by arms, money and 
troops, from foreign aggression and to receive an annual subsidy 
of six lakhs of rupees. 

The chief object of the Treaty of Gundamuk was to secure Mnrctor of 
that a British Resident should be established at the court of the CaYagaari. 
Amir Yakub Khan of Afghanistan, and in accordance with it Sir 
Louis Cavagnari was received at Cabul as Resident on July 24th, 
1879. He had, as escort, a moimted guard of twenty-five sowars, 
and fifty sepoys of the Guides, the Amir having promised to 
protect him. Certain regiments arrived from Herat on August 
5th and swaggered through the streets of Cabul, declaiming 
against the admission of the ambassador. Cavagnari was warned 
of the coming storm, but remained calm, refusing to believe the 
rumom^ and, when convinced of their truth, sa3dng, " They can 
only kill the three or four of us here, and our deaths will be 
avenged." On September 2nd he sent a message to the Viceroy 
that all was well ; next day he and the whole mission were mur- 
dered ; not one of them was left. Yakub Khan sat in his palace, 
vacillating and sullen, but did nothing. Instead of emplo)dng 
the troops which were faithfiil to him to quell the disorder, he 
only sent the Conunander-in-Chief to remonstrate. It was not 
till Cavagnari's head was carried through the bazaar by an excited 
crowd that he began to fear British vengeance. 

The news reached Sir Frederick Roberts at Simla at midnight Roberts in 
on September 4th, and he secured the Shutargardan Pass and ^^"*' 
determined to move 6,000 men upon Cabul as soon as possible. 



be settled what Great Britain was to do with A^hanistan now 
that she had got it, and who could be set up as ruler, with 
any chance of being able to hold his own. Abdurrahman Khan, 
who occurred to some as a likely man, had been Uving since 1868 
in exile beyond the Oxus, under Russian protection. Roberts 
now heard that he was at Kanduz, on his way to Badakhshan. A 
fortnight later Sir Donald Stewart was informed by the Prince's 
mother, who lived at Candahar, that his cousin, Ayub Khan, 
having asked him to march with him against the British, her son 
had replied that he would have nothing to do with the family of 
Shere Ali, that he had no intention of opposing the British, that 
he could not leave Russian territory without the permission of 
the Russians, or come to Cabul without an invitation from the 
British ; but that, if he received such an invitation, he would 
obey it at once. Lytton felt very sanguine about Abdurrahman, 
and desired to place him on the throne of Cabul. By the end 
of March it was known that Abdurrahman had made himself 
master of Afghan Turkestan, and overtures were made to him. 
He answered them in a guarded manner, saying that he wished 
to be friends with the British, but that he was imder great 
obUgations to the Russians. In the meantime, Roberts held a 
durbar on April 13th, at which it was declared that Yakub Khan 
would not be allowed to return, that there was no intention of 
annexing the coimtry, that the British would withdraw as soon 
as a suitable ruler had been found, and that Candahar would not 
again be united to Cabul. 
Ibdnnah- Sir Donald Stewart had left Candahar on March 30th, had 

»•» gained a victory at Ahmed Khel on April 19th, and reached 

^^aimed q^^^^ ^^ ^^y ^^1^ On the same day Roberts heard that 

Beaconsfield had ceased to be Prime Minister, his place having 
been taken by Gladstone, that Lytton had resigned the Vice- 
royalty, that Lord Ripon was to be his successor, and that 
Hartington was Secretary of State for India. Ripon's instruc- 
tions were to effect a peaceable settlement with Afghanistan, 
the Liberal Cabinet being determined as far as possible to return 
to the state of things which existed before 1876. On July 22nd 
Abdurrahman was formally proclaimed Amir, with the under- 
standing that he was to have no foreign relations with any other 
State except Great Britain. He was to be defended against 
outside aggression so long as he observed this condition, and he 
was not required to admit a British Resident. It was not, 
however, intended that he should succeed to all the dominions 
of Shere AU, for Candahar was to be ruled by an independent 



prince, and Herat was to remain for the time in the possession of 
Ayub Khan, a son of Shere Ali. 

Immediately after the durbar orders were issued for the Roberts' 
retirement of the troops. Some time later Roberts started ofE Pw>n»*««« 
to ride to the Khyber Pass ; but, obeying a sudden presentiment, 
determined to return to Cabul, and on the way was met by Sir 
Donald Stewart, who told him that Ayub Khan had almost 
annihilated a British brigade at Maiwand on July 27th and was 
besieging General Primrose in Candahar. Roberts was deeply 
affected by the news. It was impossible to say how far what 
had happened would affect the arrangements with Abdurrah- 
man or what the attitude of the tribesmen would be ; but it was 
certain that his first duty was to send assistance to Candahar 
from Cabul. He was strongly in favour of this course, although 
the Government first thought that the advance should be made 
from Quetta. He promised that he would reach Candahar within 
the month, and Lord Ripon assented to this proposal. The force 
under him consisted of about 10,000 men of all ranks and 18 
guns, comprising three brigades of infantry, one of cavalry, and 
three batteries of mountain artillery. The army had to take 
with them 8,000 animals, and had great difi&culty in providing 
food and fuel. Sometimes the soldiers could only cook with tiny 
roots of southern-wood, which had to be dug out and collected 
after a long day's march before the men coxild eat their dinner. 

Roberts began the memorable march on Monday, August 6th. The 
As a rule, the army rose at 2.45 in the morning and by 4 every- WonderfW 
thing was ready for the day's start. A halt of ten minutes ciuM[|jy^. 
was called at every hour, and at 8 twenty minutes was allowed 
for breakfast. The column changed its face every day, the front 
brigade becoming the rearguard, which had the most arduous 
duty, in preventing the followers from lagging behind, which 
meant certain death. Towards the end of the march the followers 
were so weary and footsore that they laid themselves down in 
ravines, making up their minds to die and, when discovered, 
entreating to be left where they were. But such care was taken 
that only twenty were lost, besides four native soldiers. The 
temperature varied from freezing-point to 110° F., and was very 
trying, and the force suffered from sandstorms as well as want 
of water. The Zambak Kotal, 8,000 feet high, had to be crossed 
on August 1 2th, and by August 15th the army reached Ghazni. 
At Charden they learned that Candahar was closely invested, but 
had supplies for two months and forage for fifteen days, and 
on August 2ist they opened heliograph communication with the 



town. On August 23rd the army rested for a day, having made 
a contmuous march of 275 miles. On August 31st Roberts — 
still weak from the fever which had attacked him — rode into 
Candahar, 313 miles from Cabul. He had covered the whole 
distance in twenty days. The garrison turned out and gave the 
relieving force a hearty welcome, very grateful for rendering their 
assistance so quickly. They were in a state of deep depression, 
and had not even hoisted the Union Jack until succour was close 
at hand. The decisive battle took place on September ist, and 
Ayvb Khan was completely defeated. Roberts was so exhausted 
that he with difficulty found strength to announce his victory 
to the Queen ; but he woke on the following morning to realise 
that the march had ended. Candahar had been saved, Ayub 
Khan's army was routed and dispersed, and southern A%hanistan 
was freed from further disturbance. 
Bimaiderof The evacuation of the country proceeded, the British troops 
C> m la h a r . being withdrawn through the Bolsm and Khyber passes. The 

policy of placing Candahar under an independent ruler proved 
a failure and he was allowed to resign. Candahar was evacuated 
in 1881, although a great clamour against its surrender was made 
by the so-called Imperial party, of which Gladstone was believed 
to be a bitter antagonist. In point of fact, the evacuation proved 
to be a most salutary measure. Nothing bound the Amir so 
closely to the British alliance as the possession of a place he had 
always ardently coveted. It is true that it was not obtained 
without a struggle, because Ayub Khan, advancing from Herat, 
occupied and held the city for a few months ; but he was defeated 
by Abdurrahman, who thus became master both of Candahar and 
Herat, and in 1883 his subsidy was increased to eight lakhs. In 
this manner the dominions of Dost Mohammed were at last con- 
soUdated under a capable ruler, who was firmly convinced of his 
divine right to hold them and also understood that, while it was 
the interest of Russia to dismember his country, it was the interest 
of Great Britain to preserve it intact. He thus fulfilled his part 
as an outpost in defence of the northern frontier of India. 
Mfiujk Ripon was succeeded as Viceroy by Lord Dufferin, and in 1884 

|f^*"»^^ the occupation of Merv by Russian troops once more raised the 
question of a definite boimdary between Afghanistan and Russian 
territory in Asia. The chief difficulty arose with regard to 
Penjdeh, which had been occupied by the Afghans ; but in March, 
1885, they were attacked and driven out by the Russians. War 
between Russia and Great Britain, however, was avoided by the 
statesmanlike good sense of Abdurrahman and the diplomacy of 




Dufferin. The Amir was determined at all costs to prevent a 
war between the two Powers which enclosed his frontier, well 
knowing that it would be a fatal calamity. He was ready to 
abandon Penjdeh if he were allowed to hold Zulfikar. An Afghan 
Bomidary Commission was appointed which worked hard to 
arrive at a conclusion during the years 1885 and 1886, and their 
conclusions were supplemented and ratified by an agreement 
signed at St. Petersburg in 1887. A frontier line was marked 
out between the Heri Rud and the Oxus, beyond which Russia 
was not to advance towards India, and there was prospect of peace 
for the future. 

From this time Abdurrahman remained consistently faithful The 
to Great Britain ; but his personal relations with successive *" Forwwd 
Viceroys naturally varied with their character and their policies. '©Ufiy'" 
Lord Lansdowne, who succeeded Duiferin, was not so intimate 
with the Amir as his predecessor had been, and there had come 
about a gradual change in British frontier policy. Between the 
two countries lay a belt of territory occupied by semi-savage 
tribes which it was the duty of the Indian Government to keep 
in order, although it was impossible to foresee anything to prevent 
their depredations, while it was easy for the Amir to foment 
disturbances if he desired to do so. A school of administrators 
arose in India who were in favour of a forward policy, of the 
rectification of the frontier, the extension of railways, and the 
reduction of these semi-independent clans to order. The Amir 
viewed approach to his frontiers with jealousy, and desired that 
the tribes imder his religious headship should be left alone. 
Abdurrahman also cherished grievances against Great Britain for 
acts of aggression in the Pamirs, and was alarmed at the approach 
of the British railway to the neighbourhood of Candahar. How- 
ever, satisfactory arrangements were made in 1893, when it was 
agreed that the Afghan frontier, both as regarded Great Britain 
and Russia, should be settled as soon as possible. The Amir's 
yearly subsidy was raised from 3^80,000 to £120,000, and he was 
promised further supplies of arms and ammunition. Up to the 
time of his death, in 1901, the friendliness of his relations with 
the British Government remained unbroken. 

The difiicult question of Indian frontier policy had to be Lord dmon 
settled by Lord Curzon of Kedleston, who succeeded Lord Elgin m Ylowoy. 
as Viceroy in 1899. Having made a special study of the frontier 
question before he assiuned office, he held a position intermediate 
between the two schools, the forwards and their opponents. He 
did not, on the one hand, beUeve in extending the British 



dominion until it touched the Afghan frontier; nor, on the 
other, was he in favour of evacuating Chitral, Quetta, and the 
points akeady reached. He held that in the restless districts 
the place of British troops should be taken by tribal levies, trained 
and commanded by British officers. The tribes were assured that 
no interference would be permitted either with their religion or 
their independence, but they were given to understand that 
strict order must be kept on the borderland. Advantage was 
taken of their mutual jealousies and suspicions, and they were 
set to watch each other, instead of looking for an opportimity to 
attack their common enemy. A concentration of force and an 
increase of garrison were effected within the British lines, the 
traffic in arms and ammimition was suppressed so far as possible, 
and strategic railways were pushed forward. This wise policy 
brought about an era of peace on the north-western frontier, 
thus testifying to the success with which it had combined 
the advantages of economy, efficiency and respect for tribal 



Tewfik Pasha had been placed on the throne of Egypt in 1879 The 

by the joint action of Great Britain and France. He entered KhedlYe't 

upon his oflftce with a high reputation for integrity and accessi- *•""■■• 

bihty to Western ideas. His habits were simple, thus contrasting 

in a striking manner with those of his predecessor, Ismail. His 

first act on succeeding to the Khediviate was to reduce the Civil 

List from £360,000 to £200,000 a year. The Porte issued a 

firman confirming Tewfik in all the privileges enjoyed by his 

father. Cherif Pasha was ordered to resign, and Riaz Pasha, 

who was reported to be the most Liberal of Egyptian statesmen, 

and had been one of the creators of the system of Dual Control, 

was placed at the head of the Government. It seemed that an 

era of peace and tranquillity had settled over the land. In 1880 

a law of Uquidation was passed which appeared to place the 

financial affairs of Egypt on a satisfactory footing, and other 

reforms were begim. But the East is the land of surprises, and 

it is difficult for Western rulers to understand or to divine what 

is passing in the Eastern mind. 

There was, indeed, some cause for discontent. The law of "E^ypt 
liquidation, passed to secure the interests of foreign bondholders, '•' ***• 
prevented the Khedive and his ministers from devoting the •^ 
revenue of their country to the development of Egypt, and the 
Dual Control involved the employment and maintenance of more 
than 1,300 persons at the cost of nearly £400,000. A cry arose 
of " Egypt for the Egyptians ! " and in 1881 signs of trouble began 
to show themselves. Under Ismail Egypt had not been free from 
military pronunciamientos and the interference of the army in 
the government was to be expected. On February ist a quarrel 
broke out between the Circassian and Egyptian officers, the latter 
complaining that the Circassians were treated with undue favour, 
the Minister of War being himself a Circassian. Three of the 
Egyptian colonels having been placed imder arrest, the regiment 
commanded by one of them marched to the military prison, broke 
open the doors, and released their chief. The soldiers clamoured 
for his reinstatement and the dismissal of the Minister of War. 



The Khedive took counsel of his masters, the French and British 
consuls-general, but it was found that the troops in Cairo were 
not strong enough to put down the mutineers, and that a black 
regiment was marching to join the latter. Their Hi*m:^nds were 
acceded to. the Minister of War was dismissed, and the soldiers 
returned with shouts of " Long five the Khedive ! " 
At tin tf MiUtaiy discontent continued, however, and a colonel in the 

army, known as Ahmed Arabi, ** the Egyptian," but better 
perhaps as Arabi Bey, put himself at the head of the movement. 
Some believed that he was an enthusiastic patriot, eager to free 
his country firom a foreign yc^, and this view was probabty 
correct ; but he could not make himself champion of the natintai 
cause without becoming a mutinous soldier, and as that he had 
to be r^arded. He would certainly have deposed the Khedive 
if he had found an opportunity of doing so. The tooe of Arabi's 
party in addressing Tewfik grew increasingly disrespectful, sod 
early in Sept^nber the Khedive ordoed that the 4th Rc^giment, 
of whidi Arabi was cokmel, should be tianslerred from Cairo 
to Alexandria. 

To resist this a m c eiiug was hdd by Arabi and his partisans 
on September 7th. at irtiidi it was determined to make a 
demonstratioQ for the pm po se of intimidatiiig the Khedive and 
compeDiog the res%nation <rf IGnistGrs. On Friday. September 
Qth« the IGnbtcr d War l eceiwd a letter at i in the aftemooiu 
s^Tied '* Arabi Bey.'* in which he was informed that at 3 the 
army would assemMe in the square before the Abdin Fibce at 
Cairo, and demand the dssmtssal of Rxaz Pasha and hs oolleagiBes, 
the scmmoninaE! of the Chamber of Xotahles, and the increase of 
the army by men. Tewfik. who ws^ at the pafaoe of 
Isruilieh. asked the advioe vi Sir ADckimd CcSvzl coe of the 
ccdpavBers of faance. and Mr. CccfcsciL tbe cccs^il-^csKral, 
audi in arccniince with their views, werst frsc to tbe Abdin 
hairacks^ wber^ be samracoed the rsc Re!d=:xnt cf the Gcard* 
aad tbea ro tbe cftadeL where he fccnd arsr^ber kyal rceiaiait^ 
hes3C PKesved bv h:^ whh axfanarSro- Had be zrnrcbed with 

> r^raacits tv> Ab 


t irs^teid he dirrrve t> AbasxlL wben» ArAbc 5 r 


palace by the back door. Stimulated by Cookson, he went into 
the square, but showed little vigour or determination, and the 
result was that Riaz Pasha, who would have hanged Arabi at 
once, was forced to retire. Cherif Pasha was reinstated, the 
Chamber of Notables was summoned, and the mutinous Arabi 
was created a pasha. 

It was time for the Dual Control to interfere, but nothing was Arabi and 
done at the moment. Tewfik telegraphed to the Porte for 10,000 *>>• Bultan. 
men to put down the revolt ; but Arabi believed that he had 
the support of the Sultan. Cherif Pasha refused to accept office 
unless the mutinous regiments were dismissed from Cairo ; but 
Arabi's party refused to allow this, and demanded the right to 
appoint the Minister of War, an increase of the army, and a 
constitution. Discovering, however, that they were not sup- 
ported by the Notables, the officers agreed to leave Cairo for a 
time, to adjourn the questions of the increase of the army and 
the constitution, and to allow Cherif Pasha to choose his own 
Ministers. But although peace was apparently restored it was 
evident that Tewiik's power had been seriously weakened. 

In the first week of January, 1882, Arabi returned to Cairo, Arabri 
and was appointed Under-Secretary in Cherif's Ministry. A ^'•"^'••to. 
manifesto, which appears to have been drawn up by him, was 
published in The Times, demanding the abolition of the Dual 
Control, the dismissal of European officials, and the adoption of 
the principle of Egypt for the Egyptians. This movement was 
resisted by the Powers. The Notables claimed the right of 
regulating the budget, to which the comptrollers objected, and 
Cherif Pasha resigned, his place being taken by Mahmud Samy, 
while Arabi was appointed Minister for War. The Notables 
became an important part of the Government. Gambetta, the 
Prime Minister of France, was eager for intervention, and sup- 
ported the sending of a joint Note to the Khedive assuring him 
of the support of the Western Powers ; but France was not 
strong enough to support a statesman of Gambetta's energy, and 
he fell from power, Freycinet, a man of very different stamp, 
taking his place. Tewfik was helpless and Arabi became the 
most powerful man in Egypt. 

The party of revolution impudently ignored the authority of The KhediTa 
the Khedive, and even went so far as to sinnmon the Chamber '<»©»•*• 
without consulting him. The French and British Governments 
were so much alarmed for the safety of Europeans that they each 
sent an ironclad to Alexandria. The Nationalist Government 
promised to protect the lives of foreigners, but intimated that 





Controls the 

Declines to 

they only recognised the authority of the Porte and not that of 
Tewfik. France and Great Britain now moved their whole fleets 
from Suda Bay in Crete to Alexandria, declaring that they would 
use such means as they might think necessary to maintain order 
and the authority of the Khedive. This terrified the Ministers, 
and they hastened to the Ismailieh Palace and made their sub- 
mission to Tewfik. But they were strongly opposed to more 
vigorous measures. Arabi was ordered to retire from Egypt for 
a year, but he refused to go, and the whole Ministry resigned. 
Cherif Pasha was asked to undertake the work of government, 
but he refused. The military party became more arrogant than 
ever, and informed the Khedive that they would not listen to the 
remonstrance of the Powers and rejected all authority except 
that of the Porte. Indeed, on May 27th, Arabi stimulated a 
demonstration with the object of warning Tewfik that, imless 
the portfoUo of the War Ofiice were returned to him, the 
Khedive's life would be in danger. 

When the combined fleets arrived at Alexandria, Arabi, the 
only person in the country whose authority was respected, gave 
orders to put the harbour in a condition of defence, and earth- 
works were thrown up and batteries erected. This caused great un- 
easiness and, on May 30th, Mr. Cookson, the British consul-general, 
sent to Lord Granville a memorandum, signed by the principal 
merchants, stating the dangerous condition of affairs. Arabi 
proceeded to increase the defences; and the Porte sent a com- 
missioner, Dervish Pasha, to examine the situation, but no one, 
apparently, paid the sUghtest attention to him. Arabi treated 
the Khedive, the Sultan, and the British admiral. Sir Beauchamp 
Seymour, with equal contempt. 

At last, on Jime nth, a riot broke out. Mr. Cookson was 
dragged out of his carriage, the Greek consul-general was attacked, 
and a French consular dragoman and several French and British 
subjects were killed. The loss of Ufe was estimated at from fifty 
to 200. The representatives of the Powers at Cairo appealed to 
Dervish Pasha to ensure the security of Europeans throughout 
Eg3^t, but he dechned to imdertake the responsibility, as he had 
no troops. They had, accordingly, no alternative but to apply 
to Arabi, who undertook the duty, the Khedive and Dervish Pasha 
associating themselves with him. 

What was to be done ? Gladstone and Granville would have 
been false to their promises and antecedents if they had not used 
their best efforts to keep clear of Egyptian entanglements ; but 
they could not continue to recognise Arabi as the ruler of Egypt. 



They endeavoured to act in concert with France, but the Govern- 
ment of that country was not in a position to take vigorous 
measures, and the only French statesman who could have done 
so had recently fallen from power. The task was therefore left 
to Great Britain alone, and the stress of circumstances imposed 
upon this country a duty which had been continually offered 
to her, which she had persistently rejected, but which she was 
now forced to accept. 

On July loth Sir Beauchamp Seymour sent an ultimatum to MmlMJ 
Arabi, demanding not only that the work on the forts should be SjS!^^!^ 
discontinued, but that they should be placed in British hands. 
By this time nearly all the European inhabitants had taken refuge 
on the foreign ships. As no message was received from Arabi at 
nightfall on July loth the British ships left the inner harbour 
and took up their position for the bombardment of the forts, and 
the French ships sailed away to Port Said. France deliberately 
left Great Britain master of the field. 

Thirteen British vessels were present, and at 7 in the morning JJ*, 
of July nth the first shot was fired by the Alexandra, and the 
conflict became general. One of the forts was blown up at 8.30 
and at 11.30 the guns of another were silenced. Fort Pharos, 
at the extremity of the beautiful bay, which preserves the im- 
dying memory of Cleopatra, and perhaps enshrines her embalmed 
remains, held out till 4, and the order to cease fire was not given 
till 5.30. The British loss was five killed and twenty-seven 
woimded. As the forts were not formally surrendered, the bom- 
bardment was resumed on the following morning. The Egyptians 
hoisted a white flag, but said to those who replied to it that 
they could not surrender the forts without the authority of the 
Khedive. A truce was agreed to, but at the expiration of it 
the Inflexible opened fire. 

It was then found that the entire line of fortifications had ^^^^ml In 
been evacuated by Arabi and his troops under cover of the white *^ * ^** ^ ^^ 
flag. But, by accident or design, the prisons had been thrown 
open and the city was filled with abandoned criminals, who 
committed every outrage. During two days, July 12th and 13th, 
the city was given up to every kind of horror. Property 
was destroyed and many people were killed, chiefly Greeks and 
Levantines. On July 14th Se3anour deemed it absolutely neces- 
sary to send a force of bluejackets and marines ashore to quell 
the riots. The work was executed promptly and efficiently. 
Plunderers caught red-handed were shot, and malefactors were 
sent to the prisons from which they had escaped, to await their 

* 3S3 


trial. Within twenty-four hours order had been restored. The 
Khedive had been confined in the small palace which Ues at the 
end of the Ramleh, the beautiful sandy stretch which extends 
six miles from Alexandria and ends with the Victoria College. 
He was now released and, placing himself imder British protec- 
tion, was conveyed to the Palace of Ras-el-tin, in the vicinity 
of the harbour. Alexandria was now in the hands of the British, 
but Cairo was still in the power of the insurgent miUtary chiefs ; 
and Arabi, having withdrawn all his troops from the former city, 
was prepared to defend himself in the desert. 
Pdw«n It may be supposed that this action of the British Government 
^'^^^^ was not consented to by Gladstone without great pain — ^a feeling 
intensified by the fact that John Bright felt constrained to retire 
from the Ministry. At the same time it met with the approval 
of Europe. Germany and Austria were cordial and respectful ; 
France was only desirous of obtaining some equivalent for the 
decline of her power in Egypt ; Italy was pleased that British 
association with France had become less close ; and Russia was 
thinking chiefly of her interests in the Black Sea. Freycinet 
would have fought for the Canal, but France would not support 
him ; the terror of what Bismarck might attempt paralysed her 
energies. Indeed, on July 29th, the French Chamber turned 
Freycinet out of office by a large majority rather than sanction 
intervention even for the protection of the Suez Canal. 

Let us now hear what Gladstone said in defence of his action : 
" It had come to pass that in Egypt everything was governed 
by military violence ; every legitimate authority — ^the Khedive, 
the Sultan, the Notables, and the best men of the country — ^had 
been put down. A situation of force had been created which 
Gould only be met by force, and everything had been done to 
make that force the force of a united Europe acting in the 
interests of civilisation. The British fleet at Alexandria foimd 
itself threatened by the armament of fortifications. Demands of 
surrender having been met by fraud and falsehood, there was 
no alternative but to destroy them. The pillage of the released 
convicts which followed was done by the wickedness of Arabi. 
These were the causes of our action, which has not been met 
with a word of disapproval, great or small, from any source 
having the sUghtest authority. It brought again to light the 
benignness of British rule, and advanced the Egyptian question 
towards a permanent and peaceful solution." Gladstone came 
to the conclusion that in this work he had been a labourer in the 
cause of peace. 



It now became necessary for the British Government, having The 
gone so far, to take stronger measures. A vote of credit of ■DttMf 
^^2,300,000 was obtained from Parliament on July 27th, and "*•"**•■• 
three days later the first battalion of an expeditionary force 
sailed for Egypt. Originally numbering 1,010 officers and 21,000 
men, the force was afterwards increased, first to 33,000, and later, 
by the addition of Indian troops to the number of 7,200, to 
40,560. Sir Garnet Wolseley, who had command of the expedi- 
tion, having been delayed by an attack of fever, did not reach 
Alexandria tiU August i6th. Finding that Alexandria was fuU 
of spies, he had recourse to stratagem to conceal his operations. 
He gave out that he was going to Abukir to silence the forts 
and land the troops, and on August i8th the whole fleet of war- 
ships and transports sailed apparently for that place. But next 
day the public heard that Port Said had been the objective, that 
it was occupied by the first division of the Guards, and that the 
fleet was blockading the land. This was done with such ease 
that the duty of taking possession of the ofiices of the Suez Canal 
Company on behalf of the British fleet and army was entrusted 
to a single midshipman. 

It was a great advantage that the waterway of the canal The 
was available for the advance. Ismailia was seized without delay, ^!I"^J* 
a Highland Brigade which had arrived from India occupying, 
Shaluf and the Freshwater Canal. On August 22nd the first 
division disembarked at Ismailia, and on August 24th a strong body 
of the enemy was found posted at Tel-el-Mahuta, about two miles 
from Ismailia. They were some 10,000 strong and were defended 
by twelve Krupp guns ; but two British pieces of artillery served 
to dislodge them. By the end of the day the insurgents were 
entirely defeated, and retreated. After another combat by the 
Freshwater Canal the belligerents rested for a time. 

Arabi had taken up a position at a place called Tel-el-Kebir, The Stand 
or the " Large Mound," a place distant about thirty miles by Jt*^**"^' 
railway from Ismaiha and a little farther than that from Cairo 
across the desert. This he fortified whilst Wolseley was waiting for 
the reinforcements from England and India ; but on September 
9th Sir Garnet advanced from Ismailia towards the enemy's 
fortifications. Arabi's position was very strong. It was four 
miles in length, and consisted of a double line of earthworks, 
interrupted at intervals by redoubts, moimted with gxms which 
could fire both in front and on the flank. This fortress was 
manned by 20,000 Egyptian troops, while the force opposed to 
them did not exceed 13,000. 




Oaptiire «f 




Wolseley determined on a night attack as best suited to his 
purpose, and on September 12th, after dark, the camp was broken 
up and the British army advanced. After a short halt, an hour 
past midnight, the march was resumed, and the attacking force 
arrived within 500 yards of the entrenchments before they were 
perceived by the enemy. Suddenly a shot was fired by the 
Egyptians and a sheet of flame burst from the whole position. 
The first line was carried by the Infantry Brigade at the point 
of the bayonet, the second and stronger Une offering little diffi- 
culty. The redoubts were scaled, the gimners bayoneted at 
their guns, and in less than twenty minutes the whole of the 
right of the Egyptian line was broken and taken. The attack was 
equally successful against their left. Indeed, the Egyptian army 
was in danger of being enclosed, as in a net, by the two divisions 
of the attacking force. The cavalry completed the rout, and 
Arabi's soldiers fled far and wide across the desert, hotly 
chased by General Drury-Lowe and Sir Baker Russell. The flat 
of the sword was used more than the point, and a smart smack of 
the cold steel on the cheek or the hinder parts was sufficient to 
effect complete coUapse. 

Wolseley then, with the audacity of genius, dispatched 300 
cavalry and mounted infantry under Drury-Lowe across the 
desert, the small force, after a trying march of thirty-nine miles 
through heavy sand and beneath a torrid sim, reaching Cairo on 
the evening of September 14th. The invaders were admitted 
into the city without resistance, and Arabi was taken prisoner 
in his own house. Thus Cairo was taken by a briUiant coup de 
main, the enterprise of Napoleon and his French in Egypt paling 
before the exploit of Wolseley and his British troops. The Indian 
contingent, imder General Macpherson, pushed forward from the 
battlefield of Tel-el-Kebir and occupied Zagazig. 

With the fall of Cairo and the capture of Arabi the national 
movement collapsed, and Wolseley was soon able to send home 
the bulk of the British troops, retaining only a force of about 
10,000 men. Wolseley's briUiant achievement has scarcely ever 
been surpassed in British miUtary history. The coimtry showed 
its gratitude by giving him the thanks of Parliament, a grant 
of 3^30,000, and a peerage with the title of Lord Wolseley of 


What was to be done with Egypt, which had now suddenly 
and unexpectedly fallen into British hands ? Some wished to 
re-establish the Dual Control, which had proved a complete failure 
and was the cause of all the troubles. Others desired Great 



Britain to withdraw altogether and leave the country to the 
Khedive, and this opinion was held by no less a veteran than 
Leonard Courtney, then Secretary to the Treasury. Great Britain 
made the serious mistake, which she is now expiating, of not 
assuming boldly the responsibility which circumstances had laid 
upon her, and of which she could not divest herself. The assump- 
tion of the government of Egypt, if not its actual possession, 
would have been treated by Europe as a relief, and would have 
received the approbation of all reasonable men. But British 
statesmen were haunted by dislike of Imperialism, which had 
certainly been discredited by the disastrous adventures of 
Beaconsfield, and had not learnt that British rule in the East 
means the estabUshment of civilisation in place of barbarism. 
Lord Dufferin, sent out to arrange matters, arrived at Cairo in 
the first week of November, 1882, and within a fortnight of his 
arrival a Note was deUvered from the Egyptian Government to the 
Governments of London and Paris, asking that the Dual Control 
should terminate. In fact, it had already come to an end at 
Alexandria and Tel-el-Kebir. France objected to the loss of 
her influence, which she had emphatically refused to make an 
effort to preserve, and perhaps too much heed was paid to her 

Great Britain, however, was determined that the canal should Nentvaliia- 
be safeguarded, its destruction having formed part of Arabi's *iwi of 
insane plan for the liberation of his country. In January, 1883, *^* C*"*!* 
Lord Granville, a perfectly delightful personaUty, but a dawdling 
and timid Minister, addressed to the Powers a circular dispatch 
of unwonted firmness and decision, saying that the British 
Government considered that the free and unimpeded navigation 
of the canal at all times, and its protection from destruction or 
damage by act of war, were matters of importance to all nations, 
and proposing that it should be free for the ships of all nations, 
in any circumstances, and that it should never be affected by 
military operations. There was considerable delay before this 
suggestion was put into a regular form ; but two years later, 
Waddington, the French Foreign Minister, suggested that an 
International Commission, consisting of representatives of each 
of the six Great Powers and Tiu*key, should be convened, and 
this was done. The discussions reaJly turned on the different 
views of France and Great Britain, Britain wishing to inter- 
nationahse the canal completely, being anxious to preserve 
the independence and territorial rights of Egypt, with which 
her interests were closely connected. The treaty embodying 




these conclusions was not signed till October/ 1886, and in 
the end the canal was not wholly internationalised, but, in the 
language of Lord Granville, "clothed with that neutrality 
which attaches by international law to the territorial waters 
of a neutral State, in which a right of universal passage for 
belligerent vessels exists, but no right to commit an act of 
hostility." How this artificial fabric would stand the strain of 
war remains to be seen. 
^•■J"** Peace was established in Cairo and Alexandria ; but on the 

upper waters of the Nile, in the south of the Sudan, a storm was 
arising. At the beginning of November, at the time of Dufferin's 
arrival, news reached Cairo that a Mahdi, or prophet, had arisen 
in those regions and was preparing to march against Khartum 
with a formidable force. Already it was seen that Great Britain 
had committed a grave error in not establishing a protectorate 
in Egypt. Neglect to do this created a situation which has always 
been, and still is, difficult. Lord Cromer tells us that no British 
Ministry since the occupation b^^ has held any other language 
with regard to Egypt save that of declaring that Great Britain's 
presence there is merely a temporary expedient, and that she 
will withdraw as soon as Egypt is fit to govern itself. When 
will a country admit that it is not fit to govern itself ? Every 
advance made by Egypt in security and civiUsation is regarded 
by her as an indication of her capacity for self-government. 

These considerations agitated Gladstone and Granville in the 
year 1884, and the historian must take some account of them. 
Gladstone admitted in the spring of this year that he was 
principally animated by three considerations — ^respect for public 
law, the just claims of the Khedive, and the reluctance to 
increase the responsibiUties of England. These were mere 
phantoms. It was not likely that France would undertake a 
war against us, when she had refused her support both to the 
vigorous Gambetta and the cautious Freycinet. All the other 
European countries would have supported us. The fault of 
Gladstone's mind was that he appUed his faculty of psycholc^ical 
and ethical anal5^is to every question equally, and never allowed 
himself to follow an instinct more powerful and more just than 
any course which could be arrived at by an elaborate process 
of ratiocination. Instinct induced Beaconsfield to purchase the 
canal shares ; instinct should have led Gladstone to establish an 
English Protectorate in Egypt in 1882. As it was, circumstances 
proved too strong for him. We were forced by them to annex 
a territory larger than Egypt and to govern it on principles which 




secured us a far greater liberty of action than we have ever been 
able to use in Egypt itself. 

A Mahdi is a hermit, an inspired prophet, honest or dishonest, Tto 
or a mixture of the two, as the case may be, and not infrequently to Hidn 
arises among some Eastern peoples. Such a Mahdi, a native 
of Dongola, appeared in the Sudan, as we have seen, in the 
auttmm of 1882, his mission being to confound the wicked, the 
hypocrites, and the unbelievers, and turn the world to the true 
faith in the One God and His prophet. He was assisted by a 
powerful friend, afterwards known as the KhaUfa. The Sudan 
belonged to Eg3q>t, having been captured by Mehmed in 1829, 
and the Equatorial Provinces were added to it by Sir Samuel 
Baker in 1870. The Sudan had always been badly ruled from 
Cairo, but that was no reason for abandoning it, and whoever 
reigned at Cairo was responsible for its proper administration. 
In the spring of 1883 General Hicks, belonging to the Staff of the 
Egyptian army, was dispatched by the Khedive from Khartum 
for the recovery of regions which had revolted under the Mahdi's 
influence. He succeeded in clearing Sennar of rebels and pro- 
tecting Khartum ; but, against the advice of Dufferin, Malet and 
Stewart, he continued his operations in Darfur and Kordofan, 
which the British advisers of the Khedive at Cairo were anxious 
to abandon. When Gladstone was asked to restrain Hicks from 
further advance, he said that it was not within the responsibility 
of Great Britain. However, Hicks' rashness brought with it 
signal pxmishment, for on November 5th, 1883, the whole of his 
force was cut to pieces and the victorious Dervishes were free to 
march upon IChartum. 

The British authorities at Khartum declared that the Egyptian 
Government could not hold it against an attack, and that, 
unless some other force came to the rescue, the Sudan must be 
abandoned. Gladstone refused to employ British or Indian 
troops for the purpose, but would have allowed the Turks to act 
at their own expense. He therefore advised the Khedive to 
abandon all territory south of Assuan or Wady Haifa, and Evelyn 
Baring agreed with him. Baring was instructed to inform the 
Egyptian Government that the Sudan would be abandoned. 
Upon this Cherif Pasha resigned, Riaz Pasha declined to take his 
place, and Nubar Pasha was with difficulty persuaded to accept office. 

When the evacuation of the Sudan was determined upon, it 
was assumed that this would carry with it the duty of extricating Calltd la. 
the Egyptian garrisons, which occupied posts in the several 
provinces, lest they should be massacred by the Mahdi's forces. 




But it is doubtful whether this conclusion was correct, for in 
the cases where opportunity afforded, the garrisons were not 
massacred, but joined the Mahdi. When, however, it was 
declared that British honour rendered deliverance necessary, 
means had to be devised for carrying out the operation 
effectively. In December, 1883, the Cabinet conceived the 
idea that General Gordon might be the man for the purpose, 
and there was much to justify this opinion. After gaining a 
great reputation and the title of " Chinese Gordon " for suppress- 
ing the Taiping Rebellion in 1869, he was appointed by the 
Egyptian Government, in 1874, Governor of the Equatorial 
Provinces of Central Africa. He resigned this ofl&ce in 1876, but 
in 1877 was created Governor-General of the Sudan, Darfinr, the 
Equatorial Provinces, and the coast of the Red Sea. He held 
this position till 1879, having succeeded in establishing compara- 
tive order. The work he had done did not survive his departure, 
but it was reasonable to assiune that what he had done once 
he might do again. The authorities in Egypt were reluctant to 
agree to his appointment, but under pressure from home at last 
yielded, provided he would pledge himself to carry out the work 
of evacuation. Gladstone somewhat reluctantly gave his consent 

on January i6th, 1884, ^^^ ^b^ ^^ ^^ ^^^^* 
*«*«n Gordon was at this time in Brussels, conferring with the King 

***•• *• of the Belgians about a proposed mission to the Congo, which 
Xjimpj^im^ afterwards produced remarkable results. On receiving a tel^ram 
from Wolseley summoning him to England, he started at once 
and arrived in London at 6 in the evening of January i6th, when 
he had a long interview with the general who had smnmoned 
him. On January i8th Hartington, who was Secretary for War, 
Granville, Northbrook, and Sir Charles Dilke, who was Under 
Secretary for Foreign Affairs, met at the War Office in Pall Mall. 
Wolseley brought Gordon and left him in the ante-room. After 
a conversation with the Ministers, he came out and said to 
Gordon, " Government are determined to evacuate the Sudan, 
for they will not guarantee its future government. Will yon 
go out and do it ? " Gordon said that he would, and Wolseley 
told him to go into the room. 

Gordon says : " I went in and saw them. They said, ' Did 
Wolseley tell you oiu* orders ? ' I said, ' Yes ; you will not 
guarantee future government of the Sudan, and you wish me to 
go up and evacuate now.' They said, ' Yes,' and it was over, and 
I left at 8 p.m. for Paris." Such is Gordon's own account, written 
in 1884. I* is graphic, but probably does not give a full narrative 



of what passed. At the station Granville bought Gordon's 
ticket, Wolseley carried his bag, and the Duke of Cambridge held 
open the carriage door. Next day one of the four Ministers said, 
" We were proud of ourselves yesterday ; are you sure that we 
did not commit an act of gigantic folly ? " It is clear that in 
sending Gordon Wolseley was the moving spirit. 

Lord Moriey has given an excellent account of Gordon's MoFley'i 
character. " Gordon," he writes, " was a hero of heroes. He IppwiutloB 
was a soldier of infinite personal courage and daring, of striking ®' ®«»*«i« 
military energy, initiative and resource ; a high, pure and single 
character, dweUing much in the region of the unseen. But, as all 
who knew him admit, and as his own records testify, notwith- 
standing an undercurrent of shrewd common sense, he was the 
creature, almost the sport, of impulse : his impressions and 
purposes changed almost with the speed of lightning ; anger often 
mastered him ; he went often by intuitions and inspirations 
rather than by cool inference from carefully-surveyed fact ; with 
many variations of mood, he mixed an inexhaustible faith in 
his own rapid prepossessions while they lasted. Everybody now 
discerns that to send a soldier of this temperament on a piece of 
business that was not only difficult and dangerous, but profoundly 
obsciure, was httle better than to call in a wizard with his magic." 

Gordon left England with the intention of going to Suakin ; Gordon and 
but the plan was changed, and he proceeded to Cairo to confer *^* HtMl. 
with Baring, and then went on to Khartum. He left Cairo on 
January 26th, and reached Khartmn on February i8th. His 
first idea had been that he could pacify the Sudan by restoring 
the old rulers of the different provinces ; but on his arrival he 
found that, with one exception, they had all disappeared, and his 
plan of action had to be reconstructed. On February 28th he 
wrote to Baring, " If Egypt is to be quiet, Mahdi must be smashed 
up. Remember that once Kharttun belongs to Mahdi, to leave 
it will be far more difficult. I repeat that evacuation is possible ; 
but you will feel the effect in Egypt, and will be forced to 
enter into a far more serious affair to guard Egypt." Gordon 
clearly saw what afterwards became obvious, that with the Mahdi 
at Khartum the whole situation in Egypt became uncertain. 

Immediately after his arrival at Kharttun, Gordon sent a hamAnmk 
message to Baring proposing that, upon his withdrawal from •' KhMPtam. 
the city, Zobeir Pasha should be named as his successor in the 
Governorship of the Sudan. He should be made a K.C.M.G. 
and have presents made to him. Zobeir had been a noted 
slave-dealer and had acquired Darfur for Egypt. He was a great 




soldier and the ablest leader in the Sudan. He is described by 
Wingate as a far^^eeing, thoughtful man, of iron will, a bom 
ruler of men. Gordon had been responsible for the shooting 
of Zobeir's son, and this would naturally have produced a death 
feud between them ; but they met at Cairo, and although 2k)beir 
reproached Gordon with having killed his son, they were appar- 
ently not bitter enemies. Baring and Stewart supported Gordon's 
request for Zobeir, and Nubar was favourable to it, but it was 
strongly opposed by the religious and anti-slavery societies in 
England. Gordon said that if Zobeir was not sent there would 
be no chance of getting the garrisons away. Gladstone came 
round to Gordon's opinion, and the Queen supported it, but it 
became certain that the opposition in Parliament would be too 
strong, and therefore he was not sent — a fatal and irreparable 
mistake. Gordon was from this time gradually surrounded by 
the Mahdists until all chance of escape had vanished. From the 
end of March it was probable that no road of retreat was open, 
and when Berber fell, on May 26th, the investment became 
complete. As the troops could not be depended upon, Gordon 
was obliged to remain on the defensive behind his earthworks, 
but he succeeded, nevertheless, in sending down 2,600 persons 
in safety to Assuan. 
'■ During the remaining months of 1884 the question of the 
relief of Gordon was debated. Popular opinion was strongly 
in favour of it, and it occufued the attention of the Cabinet 
during the whole of May and June. At last Hartington 
declined to be responsible for the War Department unless a 
decision were reached, and before ParUament was prorogued 
a pledge was given that an expedition should be sent, and 
the money necessary for it was voted. But long weeks were 
consiuned in the discussion as to the best route to be adopted, 
whether the reUef force should be sent up the Nile or from 
Suakin to Berber. Wolseley, who was to command the ex- 
pedition, strongly advocated the Nile route, and a Departmental 
Committee, after careful deliberation, reported in favour of it 
on July 29th, so that he was able to leave London for Cairo 
on September ist. Ten days later Gordon sent Colonel Stewart, 
his second in command, down the Nile in the Abbas steamer 
to convey news to Lower Egypt, but the steamer was 
treacherously run aground and the party murdered. All their 
papers were captured, among which were some which gave full 
details of the stores and food in the city up to September 9th, 
with the exact strength of the garrison. It was thus possible 



for the enemy to calculate exactly how long Gordon could hold 
out, and the siege was therefore more closely pressed. 

Kitchener recommended that the expedition should consist In 
of a small and handy coliuim, but it gradually grew to an ^^wW^f 
unwieldy body of 10,000 men. In consequence, it moved very **■■"*• 
slowly, and on October 21st was still at Wady Haifa, struggUng 
with difficulties of transport and the lack of coal. On November 
I2th the Dervishes made a strong attack upon Omdurman, on 
the other side of the Nile, opposite to Khartoum. Gordon was 
suffering much from want of food, and actual starvation set in ; 
rats and mice, the leather of boots, the straps and plaited strips 
of native bedsteads, the flower of the mimosa, the inner fibre of 
the palm tree being all eagerly consumed. The enemy were 
pressing the attack night and day, and the reUef seemed as far 
ofif as ever. 

On December 14th, which marks the last entry in Gordon's Bmttit «f 
diary, the leading troops had just reached Korti, the point where **" ^^^^^ 
the caravan route crosses to Metammeh. A halt of sixteen days 
was made here, and the march was not resumed until December 
30th. Even then the advance was very slow. The column was 
short of baggage animals and was obliged to move in detach- 
ments, sending the camels back to Korti to fetch up more men 
and stores. The column did not reach Gakdul until January 
I2th, and the camels were so exhausted that another rest of three 
days was necessary. After Gakdul they met with severe resist- 
ance, and on January 17th was fought the battle of Abu Klea, 
in which Sir Herbert Stewart was mortally wounded and was 
replaced by Sir Charles Wilson. On January 19th a battle took 
place at Metammeh, but on the evening of the same day the Nile 
was reached at Gubat, only 100 miles distant from Khartum. 

Here, on January 21st, four steamers arrived from Gordon tim Last 
and, to the great delight of the expedition, brought tidings of Htwg of 
him. Every consideration urged inmiediate departure, and it is ®•'*•■• 
probable that if the steamers had started at once the sight of the 
red coats would have driven the Mahdi's army into Kordofan 
and Khartum would have been saved. But three days were 
unaccountably wasted, partly in exchanging the Egyptian troops 
for Sudanese, and partly in making reconnaissances, and it was 
not until January 24th that Sir Charles Wilson started with 
steamers, containing a detachment of the Sussex Regiment, for 
the beleaguered city. At midday on January 28th, the steamers, 
having cleared the cataract which lies between Gubat and 
Khartum, reached the island of Forti, from which Khartum can 




be discerned. Alas ! no flag was flying from the roof of the 
palace. Half an hour later the city was in full view, and they 
were received by the fire of artillery and musketry. Khartum 
had fallen. In the Dervishes' final assault, only made on January 
26th, Gordon boldly met his fate on the steps of the palace which 
he had so long defended. He was killed by a revolver shot, and 
his head was cut off and thrown at the feet of Slatin Pasha. 
PnUie The news of the fall of Khartum was received in Great Britain 

iMVMtioii. ^^ February 5th, and caused an outbreak of universal indigna- 
tion. Gladstone, who was staying at Holker with Hartington, 
hurried to London. The Queen sent an angry telegram, not 
written in cipher, blaming her Ministers for what had happened. 
Votes of censure were moved in both Houses ; that in the House 
of Lords was carried by 181 votes to 81, but in the Commons 
the Government escaped defeat by a majority of 14. Resigna- 
tion was thought of, but Gladstone was opposed to it. Some 
feeble attempts were made to repair the disaster. A mixed 
British and Indian force, with a contingent of Colonials from 
New South Wales, advanced from Suakin and began to lay down 
a railway from that point to Berber. But the pressure on the 
Afghan frontier caused unexpected difficulties ; and in April, in 
spite of the strong opposition of the Queen, the Sudan was finally 
deserted. Its eventual recovery will be related in another place. 
AU the circumstances connected with the loss of Khartum 
were undoubtedly most discreditable, and exhibited a culpable 
feebleness in every part of the Administration. Between the 
end of March and the beginning of August the Government showed 
constant vacillation, military operations dawdled on through 
August and September, and this incompetence lasted until the 
fatal delay at Gubat, which sealed the fate of the hero. The 
death of Gordon remains an indehble stain on the Liberal 
Government of 1880. 




We must now relate the events which led to the resignation of BradUo^ 
Gladstone's Ministry in 1885. Charles Bradlaugh became promi- '^ the 
nent, and we must give some account of him. He was a man of ^^^^' 
high character and rigid sternness, but held opinions which 
shocked the conscience of the people, partly on religion and partly 
on questions of sexual moraUty. Being dected to Parliament in 
1880 as junior member for Northampton, he claimed to make 
an affirmation instead of taking an oath, as he had been already 
allowed to do in courts of justice. The matter was referred 
to a Select Committee, which decided against Bradlaugh by a 
majority of one. He then agreed to take the oath, but this he 
was not allowed to do. A second committee decided he could 
not take the oath, but might affirm at his own risk. Then, on 
Jime 29th, a motion was carried that he could neither affirm 
nor take the oath. Bradlaugh came to take the oath, but 
was ordered to withdraw, and, refusing to do so, was conunitted 
to the Clock Tower. On July ist Gladstone proposed that any 
member might affirm without taking the oath, subject to h^ 
Uabihty by statute. This was carried by a laige majority, and 
Bradlaugh took his seat, ending for the time a most discredit- 
able scandal. 

In March, 1881, the Court of Appeal decided that Bradlaugh, 
not being a Quaker, had forfeited his seat by voting without 
taking the oath. He was re-elected for Northampton, but on 
attempting to take his seat was excluded from the precincts of 
the House, and, afterwards, on endeavouring to force his way 
through the doors, was dragged by poUcemen into Palace Yard. 
Being re-elected in 1882 and denied the oath as before, he adminis- 
tered the oath to himself and took his seat. For this he was 
expelled the House, but by an absurd compromise was allowed 
to sit below the bar. In 1883 the House of Lords decided that 
he was not liable for the enormous debt of £45,000, which he was 
supposed to have incurred for having voted without having been 
sworn ; but before this award Ministers had introduced a Bill 
which allowed members to choose between affirmation or oath. 



In spite of the eloquent advocacy of Gladstone, the Bill was 
defeated by the majority of three. In 1884 Bradlaugh again 
administered the oath to himself, voted in three discussions, 
resigned his seat, and was re-elected by a larger majority than 
ever. However, the Court of Appeal decided that Bradlaugh had 
not taken the oath and, having no religious belief, was incapable 
of taking an oath, so that the sore continued unclosed ; but 
at the meeting of the new Parliament in 1886 the Speaker declared 
that he would not allow any objection to a newly-elected member 
taking the oath, so that Bradlaugh sat and voted till his death 
in 1891. He died universally respected, and three days before 
his death the House of Commons expunged from its journals 
the resolutions passed against him eleven years before. 
Qfianite At this time London was startled by an apparent conspiracy 

Outn^M. to destroy it by dynamite, attempts to produce wreckage 

by explosion taking place at foiu* railway stations — ^Victoria, 
Paddington, Charing Cross and Ludgate Hill. Two men were 
sentenced to penal servitude respectively for Ufe and twenty 
years ; but this did not stop the evil, for in January, 1885, an 
explosion occimred in the banqueting-room in the Tower and a 
piece of dynamite under the Treasury Bench blew up Mr. Glad- 
stone's usual seat. Another packet was placed under the steps 
of the crypt of Westminster Hall, but was prevented from 
doing damage by